Pic: AP.

HONG KONG (AP) — A survey shows that the contraction in China’s manufacturing eased in May.

The report released Thursday suggests the slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy appears to be stabilizing.

HSBC’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index rose to 49.7 in May from 48.1 in April.

The index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

HSBC said the improvement was “broad-based” with subindexes for new orders and new export orders indicating they had returned to growth.

China’s economy has been slowing, with growth down to 7.4 percent in the first quarter, as leaders try to reduce reliance on trade and investment and boost domestic consumption.