Beijing: The growth of China's non-manufacturing sector has slowed further in November, officials said on Saturday. The sector's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a key economic indicator, fell sharply to 49.7 percent in November from 57.7 percent a month earlier. A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates expansion, while below indicates contraction.

The decline represents a further pullback after a month-on-month drop in October, a magazine quoted the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) as saying.

“Less active consumption in the off-season and the sluggish demand in the construction sector combined to weigh down the index,” said Cai Jin, vice president of the CFLP.

The index for new orders posted the biggest drop, down 5.3 percentage points to 47.2 percent, the CELP said.

Bucking the trend, the business outlook edged up 0.1 percentage points to 60.7 percent.

The federation's non-manufacturing PMI is based on a survey of about 1,200 companies in 20 industries, including transport, real estate, retailing, catering and software.