BEIJING, Jan. 1-- China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 51 percent in December, down from 51.4 percent in November, according to official data released on Wednesday.
December marked the first time since June 2013 that the manufacturing PMI declined, according to a statement jointly released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).
In December, the sub-index for production stood at 53.9 percent,down 0.6 percentage points from November, while the sub-index for new orders lost 0.3 percentage points to 52 percent, said the statement.
Major PMI compounds all declined in December, indicating downward pressure on the economy, said Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
But Zhang also added that economic growth is still in a process of stabilizing. "In general, the country's economy is still on the course of stabilization," he said.
A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction, while that above 50 signals expansion.