BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector slipped for a second straight month in December due to slowdown in construction and service sectors, new data showed Friday.
The non-manufacturing PMI declined to 54.6 percent last month from 56 percent in November and 56.3 percent in October, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).
The index tracks non-manufacturing sectors including construction, software, aviation, railway transport and real estate. A reading above 50 percent indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 percent reflects contraction.
CFLP's vice chairman Cai Jin attributed the drop mainly to slowdown in the construction and service sectors near the end of the year.
The sub-index for the service sector dropped 1.6 percentage points to 52.5 percent, while that for construction edged down 0.9 percentage point to 62.6 percent.
"However, market demands remained relatively stable, as indicated by a flat index for new orders," Cai said.
In December, the new orders index stayed at 51 percent, consistent with the previous month. The sub-index for new construction orders rose 2.1 percentage points to 55.9 percent, projecting strong demands for construction.
The index for business outlook dropped 2.6 percentage points to 58.7 percent last month, indicating that fewer companies were optimistic about business prospects in the next three months, according to NBS data.
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