Beijing: An official survey showed that China's manufacturing sector continued to expand in January but at a slower pace, which analysts said suggests a steady growth trend in China's economy.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector fell to 50.4 percent in January from 50.6 percent in December, China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Friday.
January marked the fourth consecutive month that the PMI remained above 50 percent, according to a statement from the CFLP, reported Xinhua.
A reading above 50 percent indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 percent indicates contraction.
However, the indicator also dropped for the first time since August when it hit a nine-month low of 49.2 percent.
The slight retreat suggests that China's economy will exhibit a steady growth trend in the near future, said Zhang Liqun, an analyst from the Development Research Center of the State Council, or China's cabinet.
Both the sub-indices for new orders and raw material inventories went up in January from a month earlier, reflecting stronger demand and corporate confidence, the CFLP statement said.
Although manufacturers are continuing to expand, lower sub-indices for export orders and overstocked products point only to stable production activity instead of robust growth, Zhang said.