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China's non-manufacturing activity grows further


08:10, February 04, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Business activity in China's non-manufacturing sector continued to grow in January, partly as a result of robust retail trade ahead of the Spring Festival, an official monthly survey showed on Sunday.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of the non-manufacturing sector came in at 56.2 percent in January, up 0.1 percentage points from December, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said in an online statement.

This marked the index's fourth straight month of rises. A reading above 50 percent indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 percent indicates contraction.

The CFLP said the statistics showed China's non-manufacturing sector is further firming up.

The sub-index for new orders retreated 0.6 percentage point from a month earlier to a still-high 53.7 percent, while that for new export orders saw a slight climb of 0.1 percentage points to 52.6 percent.

Retail businesses were most active in the month, with the activity index rising 4.5 percentage points to 71.1 percent, helped by the annual buying spree ahead of the Spring Festival.

The sub-index of intermediate input prices logged the biggest gain of 4.4 percentage points to hit 58.2 percent, its highest level in nearly 10 months.

The holiday effect, as well as price rises in construction-related upstream materials, are the reasons behind the sharp increase, the CFLP said.

Chinese authorities last year introduced a string of pro-growth measures, including approving massive construction projects, to stimulate the slowing economy.

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