BEIJING -- The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of China's manufacturing sector stood at 53.1 percent in May, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Monday.
The figure was down 0.4 percentage points from a month ago.
It was the third consecutive month the PMI was above 50 percent since July 2008, when the index fell to 48.4 percent.
A reading of above 50 suggests expansion, while one below 50 indicates contraction.
The PMI includes a package of indices that measure economic performance. The survey, jointly conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, covers purchasing and supply managers of more than 700 manufacturers across China.
The output index was 56.9 percent, down from 57.4 percent in April. The new order index fell to 56.2 percent from 56.6 percent.
The purchasing price index was up 1.8 percentage points to 53.1 percent.
"The continuous stay of above 50 shows the third largest economy continued on its way to recovery, and a slight drop is a normal adjustment," said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
He added investment and consumption had kept growing, which helped trigger economic activities and the economy would continue to see expansion.