Jun. 1, 2012 (China Knowledge) - China's official purchasing managers' index, a major indicator of the strength of the manufacturing sector, dropped to 50.4 in May, an decrease of 2.9 point from 53.3 in April, according to figures jointly released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics
The PMI for large enterprises was 51.1, down 2.7 points from April, and that for medium-sized enterprises slid 2.6 points MoM to 50.8. The PMI for small enterprises fell 3.9 points to 45.2 last month, below 50 for the second consecutive month.
The production index decreased 4.3 points from the previous month to 52.9 in May, the lowest level since December 2011. The new order index fell 4.7 points to 49.8 last month, after standing above 50 for four consecutive months. The new export order index decreased 1.8 points from April to 50.4 last month, and import index fell 2.4 points to 48.1.
The raw material inventory index decreased 3.4 points to 45.1 in May, reflecting the lowest level since February 2009.
The raw material purchasing price index declined 10.0 points from the previous month to 44.8 in May.
The PMI consists of five sub indices that measure economic performance: production index, new order index, raw material inventory index, employment index and supplier delivery index, a reading of above 50 suggests expansion, while one below 50 indicates contraction.