The business magazine Caixin said Monday its monthly purchasing managers’ index edged down to 51.0 from May’s 51.1 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing. A separate index released over the weekend by the Chinese government statistics agency declined to 51.5 from May’s 51.9.
China faces the threat of U.S. tariff hikes in a dispute over trade and technology but economic indicators already are turning down after Beijing tightened lending controls last year to rein in rising debt.
Caixin said its survey showed manufacturing improved for a 13th straight month, though exports fell for a third month. It said manufacturers reported employment declined at the fastest rate in 11 months.
Exports have shrunk as a share of China’s economy and contribute less than 1 percent of annual growth but still support millions of manufacturing jobs.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts this year’s Chinese economic growth to decline from last year’s 6.9 percent to a still-robust 6.6 percent. Longer-term, the IMF expects growth to decline to 5.5 percent by 2023.