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China's manufacturing activity rebounds in January

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BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing activity picked up momentum in January but still hovered below an expansion-contraction mark, according to the HSBC's preliminary purchasing managers' index (PMI) released on Friday.

The HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for January rose to 49.8 from the reading of 49.6 in December, HSBC said in the report.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that represents contraction.

The output sub-index stood at 50.1 in January, up from 49.9 in December and representing a three-month high, according to the monthly report.

"Domestic demand improved marginally while external demand remained solid. The labor market weakened and prices fell further. Today's data suggest that the manufacturing slowdown is still ongoing amidst weak domestic demand," said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin.

"More monetary and fiscal easing measures will be needed to support growth in the coming months," Qu added.

China's economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, the weakest annual expansion in 24 years, but still in line with market expectations.

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