China's non-manufacturing activity growth slowed for the second consecutive month in May, signaling economic slowdown in the second largest economy.
The Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 55.2 in May, the lowest since March 2011, and down from 56.1 in April, official data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed Sunday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The non-manufacturing PMI is based on a survey of about 1,200 companies covering 27 industries including transportation and construction.
Inflationary pressures are easing in the region. The input price sub-index dropped to 53.6 from 57.9 a month ago and that for output prices fell to 48.5 from 50.3. New order growth also slowed in May.
The CFLP survey for the manufacturing sector also suggested a slowdown in growth due to a decline in new orders.
The economy expanded 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, the weakest pace in nearly three years as sluggish demand from Europe weighed on exports.
The World Bank expects China's economic growth to ease to 8.2 percent in 2012 from 9.2 percent in 2011. Nevertheless, growth is likely to accelerate to 8.6 percent to 2013, according to the lender.
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