BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Index, based on a survey of 3,000 SMEs, fell 0.2 points from the previous month to 87 in January, the latest industry data showed.
The decline came after six straight months of gains or flat growth but the index remained the third-highest since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
The index contains multiple sub-indexes to gauge the performances and expectations of SMEs. A reading below 100 indicates dented vitality.
In January, the sub-indexes for the sentiment on the macroeconomy, operating cost, financing and labor force edged down but remained above 100.
Sub-indexes gauging sentiment in different sectors continued to diverge. The real estate index rose and wholesale and retail index remained flat, while the indexes of the transportation industry, the computer and software industry, and the accommodation and catering industry recorded a contraction streak.
The index went up in eastern and western regions, while it decreased in central and northeast China.