(Yicai Global) March 31 -- China's factory activity increased to the highest level this year in March amid a rebound in demand despite the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.
The purchasing managers' index for manufacturing rose by 1.3 points to 51.9 from a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed today. In February, the gauge had fallen by 0.7 points to 50.6. A number above 50 indicates expansion.
Recovery came for the big and the small. Large firms' PMI rose by 0.5 points to 52.7. That of medium-sized companies climbed by 2 points to 51.6. Small enterprises' gauge jumped by 2.1 points to 50.4.
Sub-indexes were also looking up. New orders rose by 2.1 points to 53.6, indicating growing demand. The raw material inventory index edged up 0.7 points to 48.4 percent, showing a narrowing decline in inventories.
The non-manufacturing business activity index, which includes services, banking, and real estate, was at 56.3, up 4.9 points, implying rapid expansion. Some of the quickly enlarging sectors were railway and air transportation, broadcasting, financial services, and insurance, as all these fields logged readings above 60.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi