The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.1 in April, slightly down from 51.9 of March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The manufacturing sector maintained steady growth in April, NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
The manufacturing PMI continued to expand on the basis of the apparent rebound in the previous month, weakening somewhat but still higher than the level of the same period in 2019 and 2020, Zhao noted.
The sub-index for production stood at 52.2, down 1.7 percentage points from a month earlier, while that for new orders shrank 1.6 points to 52, indicating slowdown in the expansion of production and demand in the manufacturing sector.
The inventory index of raw materials was 48.3 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, below the critical point of 50, indicating the inventory of major raw materials in the manufacturing sector decreased compared with the previous month.
Friday's data also showed the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 54.9 in April, down 1.4 percentage points from the March figure. Enditem