Factory activity stays in expansion zone

China's factory activity remained in expansionary territory for the ninth consecutive month in January, although the expansion was at the slowest pace in seven months due to falling export orders, new pandemic cases and rising costs, a private survey said on Monday.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell by 1.5 percentage points on a monthly basis to 51.5 in January, the lowest level since July. The trend is consistent with the manufacturing PMI released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday. The official figure was 51.3 in January, down 0.6 percentage point on a monthly basis. The official nonmanufacturing PMI fell by 3.3 percentage points on a monthly basis to 52.4 in January, but it has remained above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction for 11 consecutive months, according to the NBS.