BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing activity has maintained expansion for three straight months, offering fresh evidence of the country's steady economic recovery, official data showed.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.9 in March, down from 52.6 in February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Friday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The manufacturing PMI continued expansion in March, though at a slower pace due to a high base last month, suggesting a steady recovery of China's economic growth, the bureau's senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
Breaking down the headline figure, the production index and the new orders index reached 54.6 and 53.6, respectively, both well above the boom-and-bust line.
Of 21 surveyed industries, 13 saw stable expansion month on month. The PMIs for large, medium-sized, and small enterprises stood at 53.6, 50.3 and 50.4, respectively, all in the expansion territory.
Market confidence also improved remarkably. The business outlook index came in at 55.5, with the optimism shared by all the surveyed industries. ■