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China’s rail freight up 8.2% in February

Updated: Mar 16,2018 9:33 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s national rail freight volume, an indicator of economic activity, continued to grow in February.

Rail freight volume for last month rose 8.2 percent year-on-year to around 304 million tons, compared with a 9.4-percent rise in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

In the first two months of this year, railways carried nearly 644 million tons of cargo, up 8.8 percent year-on-year.

Steady growth in rail freight transportation served as a further sign of sound momentum for economic growth.

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 50.3 last month, down from 51.3 in January. The manufacturing PMI has been above the 50-point mark, which demarcates expansion from contraction, for 24 consecutive months, the earlier NBS data showed.

NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe described the decline as a normal fluctuation, as the index tends to fall in the month of the Spring Festival holiday.

Industrial output expanded 7.2 percent year-on-year in the first two months, accelerating from the 6.2 percent growth in December 2017 and a 6.3-percent rise during the same period in 2017.

Last year, total rail freight volume grew 10.7 percent to 3.69 billion tons.