China's non-manufacturing PMI drops in January

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The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 52.4 in January, down from 55.7 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Sunday.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below it reflects contraction.

The non-manufacturing PMI has remained above 50 for 11 consecutive months, data from the NBS showed.

In January, the service sector saw a slower pace of recovery, with the sub-index for business activities standing at 51.1, down 3.7 percentage points from that in December.

Business activities in the service sector were slowing down amid the resurgence of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases despite the ongoing recovery momentum, said Zhao Qinghe, senior statistician at NBS, while analyzing the January reading.

A breakdown of the data showed the sub-indexes for business activities of telecommunications and satellite transmission as well as financial and capital market services remained above 60, Zhao added.

Consumption industries such as accommodation, catering, culture, sports and entertainment as well as transportation sectors logged drops in business activities given decrease in contact and trips made by residents, according to Zhao.

Due to seasonal factors, the expansion of the construction industry slightly dropped, with the sub-index for business activities standing at 60, down from 60.7 in the previous month.

China has taken multi-pronged measures to mitigate the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on earlier efforts to advance the resumption of production, the country has ramped up tax and fee reductions and provided firms with low-cost loans to help them tide over difficulties.

Sunday's data also showed that the PMI for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.3 in January, edging down 0.6 percentage points from December.

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