BEIJING (AFP) - Manufacturing activity in China slowed in May as government moves to stop the economy from overheating kicked in, data showed Tuesday, which analysts said would ease fears of further near-term tightening. The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, or purchasing managers index, fell to 52.7 last month from a revised figure of 55.2 in April, an 11-month low, indicating the recovery of Chinas manufacturing sector lost some momentum, the bank said. A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while a figure below 50 indicates an overall decline. The slowdown in the headline manufacturing PMI suggests that the overheating risk is likely to ease as tightening measures filter through, said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin. That said, we see robust economic growth without double-dip risks not least because of massive existing infrastructure investment and resilient private consumption. A separate survey released by a government agency on Tuesday showed manufacturing activity had dropped to 53.9 in May from 55.7 in April. HSBCs results are based on interviews with purchasing managers at more than 400 companies, while the survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing covers more than 700 firms. The government survey predicted the Chinese economy would continue to grow rapidly, but at a moderately slower pace. Changes in the May PMI index is likely one of the omens of the economy stabilising from rapid recovery, government analyst Zhang Liqun said in a commentary released with the data. Asian shares were lower on Tuesday amid concerns that growth of the worlds third-largest economy may slow down, impeding the regions recovery as China is a major export destination for several regional economies. Shanghai closed 0.92pc down, Tokyos Nikkei fell 0.58pc, and Hong Kongs Hang Seng Index lost 1.36pc. Beijing has announced a series of measures to rein in bank lending to calm inflationary pressures and avoid a damaging bubble in the real estate market. Chinas economy grew a blistering 11.9pc in the first quarter of 2010, fuelling fears the booming economy was at risk of overheating. Morgan Stanley economists said the softening of the May PMI would mollify fears the economy was growing too fast and further tightening measures looked unlikely. Given the uncertainties about the Greek sovereign debt issue and effects of the property tightening measures becoming evident, the likelihood of intensifying policy tightening by the Chinese government is low, in our view, they said in a research note. Goldman Sachs, however, noted the PMI figures do not provide clear evidence of a meaningful slowdown in May. Manufacturing activity in May has been slower than in April every year for the past five years, the bank said in a research report. While we believe it is important to watch out for downside risks to growth ... the macro picture is looking more benign than it was 2-3 months ago, the bank said. Growth remains at a robust level while inflationary pressures in the pipeline have been moderating.