China's factory activity expanded at a slower pace in January, but still in line with the strong recovery from the coronavirus slump seen in the world's second-largest economy.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) fell to 51.3 in January from 51.9 in December, data from the national Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Sunday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.
Analysts had expected it to drop to 51.6.
China's industrial sector's recovery is gathering pace thanks to impressive exports.
China's gross domestic product grew 2.3% in 2020, making it the only major economy in the world to dodge a contraction for the full year as many nations struggled to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.