Chinese manufacturing slowed in December, worrying some investors that the country’s growth may weaken further in 2014.

The official purchasing managers’ index, which is published by the National Bureau of Statistics, fell from 51.4 to 51.0. A number over 50 indicates an expansion in China’s manufacturing sector. An independent measure released by global bank HSBC showed the number at 50.5, a three-month low.

Economists attribute the drop in the final three months in 2013 to a slow in credit growth and restocking demand.

“Both domestic and overseas demand was weaker than expected,” said Li Heng, an economist at Minsheng Securities. “Domestically, tight liquidity is weighing on factory output and orders. The economy is under some downward pressures, but the slowdown remains modest.”

“The economy is under some under downward pressures but the slowdown remains modest. We still need to observe on the trend next year. We think Q4 GDP growth should be 7.7 pct and the same for Q1 2014,” Li said.

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