HONG KONG (AP) -- A report says manufacturing in China shrank for the third month in a row in May as demand remained soft, raising the chances of further stimulus from Beijing.
The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index came in at 49.1. That's slightly better than the 48.9 recorded in April but still in contractionary territory on the 100-point index. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.
The report said that factory production decreased from last month's no-change level, falling to its lowest in 13 months.
New export orders also declined after growing last month.
The latest numbers raises expectations that Beijing will roll out further measures to shore up economic growth.
China's economy, the world's second biggest, expanded at its slowest pace in six years in the first quarter.