A monthly survey shows that a contraction in Chinese manufacturing eased slightly in December, while service industries continued to expand.

The numbers were a potential sign of recovery among exporters in the world's No. 2 economy, while reflecting the government's efforts to shift the economy's focus from manufacturing and exports to services and domestic consumption.

The purchasing managers' index for manufacturers, compiled by the Chinese Federation for Logistics and Purchasing, came in at 49.7 in December, up from 49.6 in November — which was its weakest point in three years. A similar index for service industries continued an expansion, coming in at 54.4 for December, up from 53.6 in November.