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China's non-manufacturing sector slows in February

(Xinhua)

12:27, March 03, 2012

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Business activities in China's non-manufacturing sector slowed sharply in February on waning market demands after the Spring Festival, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Saturday.

The non-manufacturing sector's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a key economic indicator, fell to 48.4 percent from 52.9 percent from January, the CFLP said.

A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates expansion from the previous month, while below indicates contraction.

Cai Jin, vice chairman of the CFLP, attributed the decline largely to a pull-back in the consumption markets after the booming Spring Festival, including retail and catering businesses.

The data came after China's manufacturing PMI posted the third consecutive month of growth in February to 51 percent on rising new orders and export demand, taking up the slack caused by the holidays.

The sub-index for new orders in the non-manufacturing sector went down 2.4 percentage points to 46.1 percent last month, while that for new export-orders edged down 0.1 percentage points to 45.7 percent.

The business outlook index logged the biggest rise of 3.3 percentage points to reach 66.5 percent, while the index for intermediate input prices shed 0.3 percentage points to 58.3 percent, a sign that overall prices are stabilizing, Cai said.

The federation's non-manufacturing PMI is based on a survey of about 1,200 companies in 20 industries including transport, real estate, retailing, catering and software.

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