Anything below 50 indicates an economy in contraction.
China’s factory activity shrank for the first time in seven months in May as both domestic and external demand softened, while growth in the services sector cooled, pointing to slowing momentum in the world’s second-largest economy.
The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May fell to 49.2, the lowest level since October last year and down from April’s final reading of 50.4.
The figure was slightly lower than a preliminary reading of 49.6 released on May 23. Fifty divides expansion from contraction compared with the month before.
“The downward revision of the final HSBC China Manufacturing PMI suggests a marginal weakening of manufacturing activities towards the end of May, thanks to deteriorating domestic demand conditions,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC.
The reading adds to evidence in recent weeks that China’s economic growth is losing momentum.