China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector fell to 50.1 percent in June from 50.8 percent in May, data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) showed Monday.
June marked the ninth consecutive month that the PMI figure stayed above 50 percent, the line demarcating expansion from contraction.
Major PMI compounds all declined in June, indicating downward pressure on the economy, said Zhang Liqun, analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
But Zhang also noted that the economic growth is still in a process of stabilizing. Inventories have touched a historically low level, suggesting limited room for further decrease, the analyst said.
Investment and consumption remained generally stable in the first five months of this year, and the actual growth rate of exports did not see a significant fall, Li explained, adding that the policy targeting stable growth will gradually take effect.
In June, the sub-index for production moved down from 53.3 percent in May to 52.0 percent, while the sub-index for new orders lost 1.4 percentage points to 50.4 percent, according to a statement jointly released by the CFLP and the National Bureau of Statistics.
The sub-index for raw materials inventories was slightly down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month to 47.4 percent in June, marking a fifth consecutive month of shrinking stocks.
The sub-index for purchasing prices of raw materials lost 0.5 percentage points to 44.6 percent in June, staying below the 50-percent demarcation line for a third consecutive month.
Data also showed that the employment sub-index for June pared 0.1 percentage points to 48.7 percent, indicating job cuts, while the sub-index for supplier delivery times moved down 0.5 percentage points to 50.3 percent.