BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's business climate index, a major gauge of the country's macroeconomic outlook, rose in the fourth quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.
The quarterly index rose to 124.4, 1.6 points higher than Q3. It was the first quarterly rise in 2012 after the index dipped in Q2 and Q3. Despite the dips, the figures were above the boom-bust line of 100 last year.
The index which reflects entrepreneurs' anticipation of future operations stood at 120.4 in Q4, 3.9 points higher than in Q3, the NBS said.
The index surveys around 21,000 industrial enterprises.
The information transaction, software and IT service sector reported the most optimistic business climate score of 144.4 points, though 1.4 points lower than the third quarter.
Two sectors reported a negative business climate rating or below 100. These were ferrous metal smelting and processing and oil processing.
The index for industrial firms in China's central areas was higher than in the eastern or western regions. The index stood at 127.7 in the central, 123.8 in the eastern, and 121.7 in the western regions.
The index ranges from zero to 200. A reading of 100 demarcates expansion from contraction.
Also on Friday, figures showed that China's 2012 growth eased to 13-year low.
Its economic expansion slowed to 7.8 percent year on year, the slowest since 1999. It was down from 9.3 percent in 2011 and 10.4 percent in 2010, NBS data showed.
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