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Posted on: Global Times, February 1st,2017

China’s official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), the gauge of China’s factory activity, continued to expand in January, while services sector growth accelerated, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers index stood at 51.3, the fourth consecutive month above 51, according to a post published on the NBS website. However, it fell from 51.4 in the previous month, due to slowing factory activity during the weeklong Spring Festival holidays.

The raw material purchasing price and ex-work price growth edged slower in January, especially in ferrous metals-related sectors, the post showed. In addition, the high-end manufacturing sector saw accelerated growth in January, as its activity gauge stood at 55.7, up 1.9 from the previous month.

New orders in exports and imports rose 0.2 and 0.4 from December in 2016, respectively, showing recovery in this sector, according to the post.

Over 40 percent of factories reported sluggish market demand and the lack of financing in January, Zhao Qinghe, senior analysts at the NBS was quoted as saying in the post. The lower cost of raising funds and expanding demand continue to be the two crucial factors for enhancing the real economy. Meanwhile, the large number of migrant workers returning home for the holidays drove up labor costs.

The January reading beat a forecast of 51 by eight analysts from the Bank of Communications. Due to the temporary shutdown of factories before the holidays, factory activity would edge lower in January, according to a post published by the research team of the bank on January 25.

Non-manufacturing sector PMI maintained its growth momentum in January, according to the NBS, which increased 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. Sectors including wholesale, railway and airline transportation and telecommunication recorded rapid growth in January, Zhao noted.


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