Activity in the Chinese manufacturing sector contracted in April for the fourth straight month, but it did so at a slower rate than previously, according to a survey.
Reuters reports that HSBC's flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index was 48.3 points in April, compared with 48.0 in March.
All values above 50 represent expansion in the sector, while values below 50 indicate the sector is contracting.
HSBC China chief economist Hongbin Qu said in a statement accompanying the PMI release that domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased in the month.
"But downside risks to growth are still evident as both new export orders and employment contracted," Mr Qu said.
"We think more measures may be unveiled in the coming months and the People's Bank of China will keep sufficient liquidity."
There were contractions in new orders and moderation of output in the sector.
Earlier this week, Beijing’s National Bureau of Statistics released the official government PMI. This came in at 50.2. While over 50, it represented the third drop in a row for the sector. The figure in January was 50.5, while December’s figure was 51.0 and November’s figure was 51.4.
The final Markit/HSBC manufacturing PMI for April will be released on May 5.