BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's factory activities slowed down in September as the energy-intensive industry shrank, while the services sector bounced back to expansion amid effective control of the COVID-19 resurgence.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 49.6 in September, edging down from 50.1 in August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Thursday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The September slowdown came as factory activities in energy-intensive sectors slackened, weighing on the overall performance of the manufacturing industry, according to the NBS.
Wen Tao, an analyst with the China Logistics Information Center, believes that slower growth in demand and hikes in commodity prices were among the factors that dragged down the headline manufacturing PMI.
The production and new order sub-indexes both dropped to below 50, while the purchasing price index of major raw materials rose to 63.5 this month, indicating higher procurement costs for enterprises.
The high-tech manufacturing sector, with its PMI rising to 54, maintained steady development in September, contributing to the growth in the manufacturing industry, according to the NBS.
Bucking the downward trend in the manufacturing sector, the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector stood at 53.2 in September, returning to the expansion zone after dipping to 47.5 in August.
Business activities in the non-manufacturing sector have recovered swiftly, especially for the service sector, NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said, citing that the sub-index for business activities in the services sector stood at 52.4, up 7.2 percentage points from that in August.
Sectors such as transportation, accommodation and catering, which were hit by the epidemic last month, recorded marked improvement in September. Their sub-indexes for business activities were in the expansion zone, according to the NBS.
China's economy has recovered rapidly from the pandemic fallouts and sustained sound growth momentum this year. It has, however, faced challenges including a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and high prices of bulk commodities.
In a State Council executive meeting held last week, the country's top policymakers stressed efforts in cross-cyclical adjustment, pledging to take more market-oriented measures to stabilize commodity prices and further promote consumption.
Consolidating the growth foundation and unleashing domestic demand are crucial to China's stable economic development, said Cai Jin, vice chairman of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, adding that investment and holiday consumption is expected to help stabilize the market demand in the fourth quarter.
Epidemic control, reduction of energy consumption, and economic development should be coordinated well if the country aims to keep the economy running within an appropriate range in the next quarter, Wen said. Enditem