The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector stood at 56.3 percent in October, up from 55.4 percent for September, according to official data released on Sunday. A PMI reading above 50 percent indicates expansion in non-manufacturing activities, while a reading below 50 percent points to contraction. The non-manufacturing PMI tracks service, construction, software, aviation, railway transport and real estate among other sectors, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP). The improving non-manufacturing figure is in line with China's manufacturing PMI, which hit an 18-month high in October, according to NBS figures released on Friday. Cai Jin, CFLP vice chairman, said the construction and service sectors are becoming increasingly active, and the non-manufacturing sector is absorbing more labor. The sub-indices for business activity in the construction sector gained 0.5 percentage point to 62 percent in October. The service sector rose 0.9 percentage point to 54.8 percent. "The non-manufacturing sector is now important in supporting steady growth of the economy," said Cai.