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BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 53.7 in July, slightly down from 54.2 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.

A reading above 100 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

Despite the slight decrease, the gauge for the non-manufacturing sector maintained a relatively high level of expansion, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.

Zhao mainly attributed the decline to weaker sub-indices measuring business activities in the wholesale and financial sectors.

Rapid expansion was seen in sectors including telecommunications, railway and air transport, with their sub-readings having stayed above 59 for three consecutive months, Zhao said.

Strong summer consumption buoyed the sectors of hotel, catering as well as culture, sports and recreation, according to Zhao.

Wednesday's data also showed that China's manufacturing PMI stood at 49.7 in July, higher than that in June. The composite PMI came in at 53.1, up 0.1 point from June.