Oil prices fell below $73 a barrel today after industry data revealed that Chinese growth had slowed, adding to concerns about the pace of global economic recovery.

For July delivery, US crude declined $1.40 to stand at $72.57 per barrel by 08.02 GMT, while London Brent crude lost $1.50 to $72.79 a barrel, according to Reuters.

China’s factories reduced production last month and slowed the pace of hiring, revealed the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which fell to 53.9 in May from 55.7 in April.

US crude recorded its biggest monthly loss since 2008 in May, tumbling more than 13% after the European economic crisis raised concerns about reduced fuel demand.