|A woman works in a clothing factory at Shahe Town of Ganyu County in Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province, Oct. 13, 2013. (Xinhua/Si Wei)
BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to five-month low to 50.5 percent in January, according to official data released on Saturday.
January continued December's decline and marked the lowest factory activity since August 2013, according to a statement jointly released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).
In January, the sub-index for production stood at 53 percent, down 0.9 percentage points from December, while the sub-index for new orders lost 1.1 percentage points to 50.9 percent, said the statement.
Major PMI compounds all declined in January, indicating downward pressure on the economy, said Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
But Zhang also added that the factory activity, despite the decline, was still in expansion, "In general, the country's economy is still expecting stable growth," he said.
A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction, while that above 50 signals expansion.
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By Shen Qing
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