Global growth engine China isn't the only economy exhibiting signs of weakness, with the Asia's other major exporters also witnessing a downturn in manufacturing activity, according to monthly HSBC purchasing managers index (PMI) readings published on Monday.
HSBC's China PMI fell to 49.2 in May, the lowest level since October 2012 and down from April's final reading of 50.4. A reading above 50 indicates expanding activity and one below 50 signals contraction.
Taiwan's PMI dropped to 47.1 in May from 50.7 in April, its first fall in six months, and South Korea's May PMI slipped to 51.1 compared with 52.6 in the previous month.
Meanwhile, in the euro zone, PMIs for May ticked higher but were still in contraction territory. For the bloc as a whole the number rose to 48.3, above expectations of 47.8.
"We are actually getting increasingly worried. The numbers have disappointed. Not just in China but throughout the Asia-Pacific over the last couple of months," Frederic Neumann, co-head, Asian economic research at HSBC told CNBC Asia's
"And it is not just a slowdown in exports. We also see some weakness in domestic demand coming through as well," he said.
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And with major trading partner, the euro zone, entrenched in a recession, experts said it would be difficult for export-driven Asian economies to stage a sizable recovery in the months ahead.
Last week, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) cut its 2013 growth estimates for the currency bloc, forecasting that it would shrink 0.6 percent compared with an earlier estimate of a 0.1 percent contraction.