BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The HSBC Flash China purchasing managers' index (PMI) rebounded sharply to 49.7 in May, hitting a five-month high, data showed on Thursday.
The HSBC/Markit China PMI, an indicator designed to provide a snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing sector, was up from 48.1 in April, said data company Markit in a statement.
But the figure is still below the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
In breakdown, the new order sub-index recovered to 50.2 from 47.4 in April, the highest reading so far this year, while the new export order sub-index rose to 52.7, compared to 48.9 in April, the highest since November 2010.
The manufacturing output index came in at a four-month high of 50.3 in May, up from 47.9 in April.
Disinflationary pressure eased with output prices increasing for the fist time since last November.
But the employment index fell further to 47.3, indicating pressure on the labor market.
"Some tentative signs of stabilization are emerging," said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin. "But downside risks to growth remain, particularly as the property market continues to cool."