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China's non-manufacturing sector growth rises in October

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BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of China's non-manufacturing sector was 55.5 percent in October, up 1.8 percentage points from September, new data has showed.

The PMI, a key economic indicator, was released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) on Saturday.

The relatively high figure can boost market confidence and contribute to a foundation for stable economic growth, said Cai Jin, CFLP vice chairman.

The reading was the same as that in October last year. In the past 12 months, the September reading of 53.7 percent was the lowest and the March reading of 58.0 percent was the highest, according to the CFLP figures.

A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates expansion from the previous month, while readings below this indicate contraction.

The index for new orders dropped 0.2 percentage points to 51.6 percent, indicating continued market growth but with a slight slowdown.

Growth in the construction sector gained pace, with its figure at 60.2 percent, up 2.2 percentage points from September. The index for the service sector was 54.4 percent, up 1.8 percentage points from the previous month.

Only the wholesale and the air transportation sectors showed indexes under the critical point of 50 percent.

These figures followed Thursday's manufacturing sector PMI, which rose to 50.2 percent from 49.8 percent in September, just above the 50-percent figure that demarcates expansion from contraction.

The country's economic growth slowed to an annual rate of 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012. However, September data indicated a pick-up in economic activity.

The government has rolled out an array of measures this year to buoy the slowing economy, including two cuts to benchmark interest rates, the easing of bank reserve requirements and the approval of infrastructure projects worth more than 1 trillion yuan (157.73 billion U.S. dollars).

The central bank on Friday vowed to keep the monetary environment stable in the coming months as the country's economic structure is evolving toward the anticipated direction.

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