An employee wearing a protective mask works on a Lynk & Co. 05 crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) in the paint shop at the Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China, April 28, 2020. (QILAI SHEN / BLOOMBERG)
BEIJING – The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector eased to 50.6 in May from 50.8 in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Sunday.
The data also showed that the PMI for the country’s non-manufacturing sector came in at 53.6 in May, up from 53.2 in April.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, external demand remained sluggish, with the sub-index measuring new export orders standing at a historically low level of 35.3, data showed
Business activities of the country's manufacturing sector continued to pick up in May, although by a smaller margin than last month, NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
Of the surveyed manufacturing firms, 81.2 percent saw over 80 percent of their business operation resumed in May, NBS data showed.
The sub-index for production edged down 0.5 percentage points to 53.2 in May, while that for new orders picked up 0.7 percentage points to 50.9, NBS data showed.
READ MORE: China's manufacturing PMI falls in April
The indices measuring new orders in 12 of the 21 surveyed sectors picked up, indicating improved domestic demand, Zhao said.
Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, external demand remained sluggish, with the sub-index measuring new export orders standing at a historically low level of 35.3, NBS data showed.
The indices measuring raw material purchase prices and factory-gate prices rebounded by 9.1 and 6.5 percentage points, respectively, both reaching the highest level in the past four months.
The sub-index gauging firms' expectations for business activities ticked up 3.9 percentage points to 57.9, indicating improved confidence among manufacturing firms.
The sub-index for business activities in the construction sector accelerated pace of growth in May, expanding 1.1 points from the previous month to 60.8, while that for the service sector steadily recovered, edging up 0.2 points from April.
Driven by policies on stimulating consumption as well as the effects from the consumption boom during the five-day May Day holiday, consumer market continues to warm up, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.
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Among the 21 service sectors surveyed, 15 saw expansion in their business activities in May.
The transport, accommodation and catering, telecommunications as well as Internet and software sector logged more vibrant business activities in May, with their sub-index all increasing from last month and standing above 55.
However, some industries still face relatively slow work and production restoration.
The sub-index for business activities in the cultural, sport and entertainment sectors came in at 44.5, remaining at a low level in May, according to Zhao.
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