By  on June 3, 2013

SHANGHAI — Factory activity in China shrank for the first time in seven months in May mainly due to weakening domestic demand and a decrease in export orders, particularly from the United States, according to a HSBC survey released on Monday.

HSBC's Chinese purchasing managers' index fell to 49.2 last month, down from 50.4 in April, indicating continued fragility in the world's second largest economy. May's purchasing managers' index, or PMI, marked the lowest reading since October 2012, HSBC said. New export orders dropped for the second consecutive month while purchasing activity was lower for the first time in eight months. Numbers below 50 on the 100-point scale indicate contraction.

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