Growth in China's factory activity eases

China's factory activity expanded in May, but the pace of growth slowed for a second month as raw material costs rose and export orders fell in the world's second-largest economy.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday that the Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, stood at 51, down 0.1 point from April.

It has been hovering above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction for 15 straight months.

The PMI numbers for large and medium-sized companies both improved, remaining above 50. But the figure for small firms dropped 2 points to 48.8.

The government is increasingly worried about prices for raw materials, and has been taking steps to stabilize them.