BEIJING, Oct. 19 -- China's business climate index, a major gauge of the country's macroeconomic outlook, continued to fall in the third quarter, according to a latest survey.
The quarterly index dropped to 122.8, 4.1 points lower than in the second quarter. This is a steeper decline compared with the 0.4 dip in the previous quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
China's economic growth cooled to 7.4 percent in the third quarter, the lowest reading since 2009, as a result of sluggish exports and overcapacity in the domestic market.
The Q3 index was still above the boom-bust line of 100 and 13.2 points higher than the fourth quarter of 2008 during the financial turmoil. This indicated that the overall economy was running normally, said the NBS.
The index reflecting entrepreneurs' anticipation of future operations was 5.1 points higher than the figure indicating their views on the current business situation, the NBS said. This was the result of a survey conducted among 21,000 industrial enterprises.
Businessmen in IT, wholesale and retail industries felt most optimistic.
Those in manufacturing industries, entrepreneurs from steel, petroleum and chemical fibre sectors felt the worst about their economic operations, with indices under 100.
The index for industrial enterprises in China's central regions was significantly higher than in the eastern or western regions.
The index ranges from zero to 200. A reading of 100 demarcates expansion from contraction.