A robot works at a lithium battery factory in Tangshan, North China's Hebei province, on Nov 29, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] BEIJING -- The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.9 in December, edging down 0.2 percentage points from November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction. The PMI remained in expansion zone for the 10th consecutive month, indicating that the country's manufacturing sector continued its steady recovery, data from the NBS showed. The sub-index for production stood at 54.2 in December, down 0.5 percentage points from November, while that for new orders dropped 0.3 percentage points to 53.6. The new export order and import sub-indexes edged down from 51.5 and 50.9 in November to 51.3 and 50.4, respectively. Thursday's data also showed that the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 55.7 in December, down from 56.4 in November.