China's non-manufacturing sector picked up pace in January, an encouraging sign for the government's push for a services-driven economy.
The non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 54.7 this month, up from 53.8 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on Thursday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The index, above an average level of 54.4 in 2018, has been in a gaining streak for three months, according to the NBS.
The service sector, which accounted for more than half of the country's GDP, posted stronger expansion with its business index climbing to 53.6 from 52.3 in December.
Boosted by pre-holiday factors and consumption upgrades, wholesale, rail transportation, aviation, delivery, telecom, banking, insurance, tourism and other commercial services posted robust expansion, NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
China's week-long Spring Festival holiday will start on February 4 this year, during which tens of millions of Chinese will travel at home or overseas for family reunions and celebrations.
According to the NBS, brokerage and property development remained in contraction, while the construction sector slowed slightly with its business index dipping to 60.9 from 62.6 the previous month.
China is trying to shift its economy toward a growth model that draws strength from consumption, services and innovation. The service sector accounted for 52.2 percent of the country's economy last year.
Thursday's data also showed the manufacturing sector PMI edged up to 49.5 from December's 49.4, ending a four-month decline streak.