China's services activity logged a strong recovery in January thanks to a robust consumer market during the week-long Spring Festival holiday.
The purchasing managers' index for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 54.4 in January, up from 41.6 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below it reflects contraction.
The figure was the second highest in the past 12 months, only slightly lower than the reading of 54.7 last June.
The sub-indexes for the services and construction sectors in January stood at 54 and 56.4, respectively.
The services activity ended its six-month losing streak in January and returned to positive territory, with a sharp rebound in the business climate, senior NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
Of all 21 surveyed industries, 15 saw business expansion, with railway, aviation, postal services, financial services, and insurance in a high climate range of above 60. Retail, hotel, and catering sectors, previously hardest hit by COVID-19, also resumed expansion.
Zhao believes consumer sentiment has improved significantly and market activity has picked up.
Meanwhile, data showed the construction sector maintained relatively rapid expansion. As various government policies to promote major projects have taken effect, building enterprises have remained optimistic, Zhao said.