Growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed in April, official data showed Sunday, pointing to an unsteady recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
The monthly purchasing managers’ index by the Chinese Federation of Logistics and Purchasing fell to 51.2 in April, lower than the 51.8 recorded in March.
The index is based on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.
National Bureau of Statistics statistician Zhao Qinghe said in the release that April’s figure was affected by sluggish growth in market demand and supply, and slower expansion in imports and exports.
April’s index still represented a ninth consecutive month of expansion.
China saw its slowest growth in nearly three decades in 2016. China’s huge manufacturing sector is seen as an important indicator for the wider Chinese economy. It has cooled gradually over the past six years as Beijing tries to pivot it away from heavy reliance on export-based manufacturing and investment toward consumer spending.
The official full-year economic growth target for 2017 is 6.5 percent.