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Economic recovery buoys building and service sectors

By Chen Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-04 01:24

China's nonmanufacturing industries gained stronger growth momentum in March, supported by an accelerating economic recovery.

The nonmanufacturing purchasing managers' index, an indicator that reflects the business activities in the construction and service sectors, bounced back to 55.6 in March, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing on Wednesday. It was 54.5 in February and 56.2 in January.

A PMI above 50 means expansion, as opposed to contraction. The survey covers 1,200 enterprises.

Overall new orders increased 0.2 points to 52 percent month-on-month, and new export orders improved to 51.7 from 51.6, indicating stronger demand from both domestic and overseas markets, said Cai Jin, vice-chairman of the CFLP.

Input prices dropped to 55.3, 0.9 points less than in February, suggesting an easing of inflation pressure, the analyst said.

It is a signal of a strengthened growth impetus for the whole economy, along with the raised manufacturing PMI released on Monday, he said.

The March manufacturing PMI, which reflects factory production, rebounded to 50.9 from 50.1 in February.

The construction industry PMI rose to 62.5, up by 4.5 points from a month earlier and a 12-month high, as most migrant workers returned to cities to resume construction projects after the Spring Festival holiday in February.

"It suggests that construction enterprises have more positive expectations for the market situation this year," Cai said.

The service industry PMI slightly declined to 53.6 from February's 54.9. Business volumes for catering, retail, air transport and road transport industries shrank in March, said an NBS statement.

HSBC Holdings PLC reported a service industry PMI on Wednesday based on a separate survey. It registered a six-month high of 54.3 in March, up from 52.1 in February, because of the rebound of new business orders and employment.

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