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BEIJING - The purchasing managers index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector rose to 56.3 percent in October, the highest in the last 12 months, confirming the stabilizing trend of the Chinese economy.
The index was 0.9 percentage point higher than that for September,according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) on Sunday.
A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates expansion in non-manufacturing activities that cover service, construction, software, aviation, railway transport and real estate among other sectors. A reading below 50 percent indicates contraction.
The improving non-manufacturing figure is in line with China's manufacturing PMI, which hit an 18-month high in October, according to NBS figures released on Friday.
Cai Jin, CFLP vice chairman, said the construction and service sectors are becoming increasingly active, and the non-manufacturing sector is absorbing more jobs.
The sub-indices for business activity in the construction sector gained 0.5 percentage point to 62 percent in October. The service sector rose 0.9 percentage point to 54.8 percent.
"The non-manufacturing sector is now important in supporting the steady growth of the economy," said Cai.
More companies in the non-manufacturing sectors expect their business to grow in the coming three months, with the business confidence index hitting 60.5 percent in October, up 0.4 percentage point from September, NBS figures showed.
The Chinese economy grew by 7.7 percent in the first nine months, higher than the government's full-year target of 7.5 percent. GDP growth in the third quarter accelerated to 7.8 percent from 7.5 percent in the second quarter, NBS data showed.
But Cai warned of a slowdown in new order growth in the non-manufacturing sector.
The sub-index for new orders declined by 1.8 percentage points to 51.6 percent in October.
Cai said although the index remained in the expansion territory, market demand was not growing as fast as that in the previous month.
The new order indices for the leasing, business service, catering and real estate sectors even fell below 50 percent.
"More supportive measures should be in place to nurture the growth of the market so as to release the potential of the service sector," said Cai.