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China’s non-manufacturing sector expands faster in March

Updated: Mar 31,2018 1:50 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s non-manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on March 31.

The non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index came in at 54.6 this month, up from 54.4 in February.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.

The service sector, which accounts for more than half of the country’s GDP, reported steady expansion with the business activity index standing at 53.6, well above the boom-bust line of 50, according to NBS data.

The producer service and logistics sectors were particularly robust as manufacturers resumed operation after the Spring Festival holiday, according to NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.

The wholesale, retail, and accommodation sectors saw slower expansion as the holiday season ended, while business activity in sectors including road transport, catering, and real estate contracted.

Construction business picked up in March due to warmer weather and further progress in infrastructure construction. Its business activity index rose to 60.7 from 57.5 in February.

Both service and construction firms remained positive on the market outlook in March as the business outlook index stayed above 60 this month, an optimistic range, for the 11th month in a row, NBS data shows.

The service sector contributed 58.8 percent to economic growth last year.