China Manufacturing Growth Weakens In May

SHANGHAI (AP) -- The recovery in China's manufacturing slowed in May on sluggish new orders and rising inventories, surveys showed Tuesday.

The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers index, or PMI, fell to 53.9 in May from 55.7 in April and 55.1 in March.

The index has remained above 50 for 15 straight months after a slowdown in late 2008 and early 2009.

Another survey, the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI -- a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy -- fell to 52.7 from a revised figure of 55.2 in April.

Although numbers above 50 for both surveys show manufacturing activity expanding, HSBC Corp.'s May reading was the lowest in eleven months.

The slowdown in new orders reflects "relatively lackluster demand from both home and external markets," it said.

The Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its survey showed a decline in purchasing prices and weakening orders, purchasing volumes and imports.

However, its report noted that the figure might also reflect higher readings from the year before, when the economy began to recover from the slowdown brought on by the global financial crisis.

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