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China's Manufacturing Sector Holds Steady in May

FILE - A Chinese worker is seen behind orange robot arms at work at Rapoo Technology factory in southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

China's manufacturing activity expanded slightly last month, indicating that the world's second-largest economy continues to struggle from weak demand both domestically and abroad.

The official Purchasing Manager's Index, or PMI, for May, released Wednesday by the national statistics bureau, stood at 50.1, matching April's reading and falling just a fraction below March's figure of 50.2.

The PMI measures activities in China's major factories and workshops. The private Caixin/Markit PMI, which places a greater emphasis on smaller firms, was more pessimistic, posting a 49.2 figure for May, down from April's reading of 49.4.

Any number above 50 signals expansion, while the opposite indicates contraction.

Meanwhile, growth in China's services sector continues to expand, posting a 53.1 mark in May, slipping from April's 53.5 figure.