Survey: China manufacturing slowed in April

Chinese manufacturing activity weakened further in April despite government stimulus, a survey showed Tuesday, indicating the economy has yet to rebound from a downturn.

The Caixin magazine purchasing managers' index declined to 49.4 from March's 49.7 on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show activity contracting. It said conditions have worsened in each of the past 14 months.

Beijing has tried to shore up slowing economic growth by boosting spending on public works projects, expanding credit and easing policies on real estate to encourage purchases. Some indicators improved in March but analysts warned that was unlikely to last.

"The fluctuations indicate the economy lacks a solid foundation for recovery and is still in the process of bottoming out," Caixin's chief economist, He Fan, said in a statement. "The government needs to keep a close watch on the risk of a further economic downturn."

A separate PMI issued earlier by an industry group, the Chinese Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, also found manufacturing was weak in April though activity expanded slightly.

The Caixin survey found new orders stagnated in April and new export work fell for a fifth straight month.

As a result, employers shed jobs at a pace only slightly below that in February, which was the highest rate since the aftermath of the 2008 global crisis, it said.

The survey is based on responses from purchasing managers at some 420 Chinese industrial companies.