Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration taken in Shanghai
Chinese 100 yuan banknotes in Shanghai, January 17 , 2011. REUTERS

China's non-manufacturing activity rose in December compared with the previous month, easing concerns over a slowdown in the economic growth of the country.

According to data released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, the non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 56.1 in December from 55.6 in November.

Significantly, the index remains in the expansion zone, which is any number above 50. The expansion of non-manufacturing activity should allay fears about a sharp retardation of the Chinese economy.

This news comes after it was reported earlier this week that China's manufacturing activity expanded in December for the third month in a row, indicating that the world’s second-largest economy is gaining growth momentum. Data released Tuesday by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing showed that the manufacturing PMI remained unchanged at 50.6 in December compared with the previous month.

It was reported earlier last month that China’s industrial production rose in November compared with the previous month, indicating an upswing in manufacturing output. The data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed that industrial production, which measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines and utilities, rose 10.1 percent in November from 9.6 percent in October and more than analysts’ forecast of 9.8 percent.

However, analysts are not fully optimistic about a revival of China’s growth as the global economy continues to be weak amid the debt crisis in the euro zone. China’s trade surplus dropped in November compared with the previous month, an indication that soft global demand continues to weigh on economic growth.

Data about last month from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed that gross domestic product growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the third quarter, from 7.6 percent in the second quarter, due to soft global demand and reduced real estate investment in the country.

Market participants hope that Chinese policymakers will soon announce monetary easing measures to spur industrial activity.