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China’s manufacturing sector expands slower in May

June 01/2011

(ICIS) -- China’s manufacturing sector grew at a slower pace in May, with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) at its its lowest level in nine months at 52%, official data showed on Wednesday. PMI, a barometer of the monthly performance of China's factories, slipped 0.9 percentage point from 52.9% in April, according to China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP).

Except for a slight rebound in March, the PMI has been falling continuously since September 2010, when China turned more aggressive in its monetary tightening policy in response to spikes in inflation.

In the oil and petrochemical industry, producers opted to destock cargoes in April and May instead of building more inventory, discouraged by declines in commodity prices, said Wu of Changjiang Securities.

Inflation is expected to remain high at 5.4-5.5% in May, with price pressures on food being aggravated by drought affecting a huge swathe of farmlands in China, he said.

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