Beijing, June 1 (IANS) China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 50.8 percent in May from 50.6 percent in April, data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) showed Saturday.
May marked the eighth consecutive month that the PMI figure stayed above 50 percent, which demarcates expansion from contraction, according to a statement of the CFLP.
A modest rise in the May PMI and steady sub-indices suggest the recovering trend in China's economy becomes more obvious, said Zhang Liqun, an analyst from the Development Research Center of the State Council.
According to the CFLP, the sub-index for production moved up from 52.6 percent in April to 53.3 percent, a major driver of the May PMI and representing expanding output, reported Xinhua.
Orders received by manufacturers picked up in May, as the sub-index for new orders edged up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month to 51.8 percent.
After tumbling 10.5 percentage points to below-50-percent level in April, the sub-index for purchasing prices of raw materials rebounded 5 percentage points to 45.1 percent in May, indicating improved market expectation, according to Zhang.
The sub-index for raw materials inventories was slightly up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month to 47.6 percent in May, but still marking a fourth consecutive month of shrinking stocks.
The CFLP data also showed that the employment sub-index for May declined 0.2 percentage points to 48.8 percent, indicating job cuts, while the sub-index for supplier delivery times was unchanged at 50.8 percent.
The official PMI, based on a survey of purchasing managers from 3,000 companies in 21 industries, diverged from the HSBC's flash PMI reading issued last week.
The British bank said the PMI for China's manufacturing sector dropped to 49.6 point in May, slipping under the 50-point level for the first time in seven months. The bank's final reading is scheduled to be released Monday.