HONG KONG (AP) — An early survey says factory activity in China shrank at a slightly slower rate in April.
The report on the country's massive manufacturing sector is a possible sign that the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy is stabilizing.
The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index rose to 48.3 from 48.0 in March. The index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.
The report said new orders for customers in export markets overseas shrank after expanding the previous month.
The PMI is based on 85-90 percent of responses from about 420 factories.
Earlier this month, China said economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter. That matched a mini-slump in late 2012 for the slowest growth since the 2008-09 global crisis.