China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 51.5 percent in March, growing by 1.2 percentage points from February, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) on Saturday.
The index growth is attributed to the rising market demands after the Spring Festival.
“The period following the Spring Festival saw the operation rush of enterprises. Also from the statistics, we can see production accelerated as the market bounced back at a faster pace. And the production and market demands have expanded proportionately with enhanced coordination,” said Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician at the NBS.
According to the official data, 14 out of the 21 sectors in manufacturing saw growth in their PMI in March, with equipment manufacturing and the consumer products industries having enjoyed notable increases. In large and medium-sized enterprises, the PMI index was generally on the rise and in small businesses, it increased by 5.3 percentage points over last month.
“The rising labor productivity, in particular, was obvious in the economic development, which reflected that the Chinese economy has been running steadily with good quality,” said Cai Jin, deputy head of the CFLP.
While the manufacturing PMI was at 50.3 percent in February, close to the 50 percent reading which suggests economic contraction, Cai pointed out that the index was at 51.3 percent in January and then rose in March from the February’s fluctuation during the Spring Festival, which shows the first quarter on the whole has maintained a stable economic performance with good momentum for growth.
“Whether for the domestic demand, investment, consumption, or the export demand, they all delivered quite good performance. Therefore, the first quarter has paved the way for the Chinese economy to grow in the future,” Cai said.