BEIJING - The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of China's manufacturing sector rose to 53.4 percent in March, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Friday.
The March index rebounded from a slid for three consecutive months, higher than the six-month low of 52.2 percent in February and 52.9 percent in January.
A reading above 50 percent indicates economic expansion. One below 50 percent indicates contraction. China's PMI has been staying above the boom-or-bust line for 25 months in a row.
The pickup is mild and indicates that China's economy is moving along the direction set by its macro control policies, the CFLP said in a statement, adding the steady economic growth needs to be further consolidated.
Analysts said the fast expansion increased pressure of inflation and added expectation of interest rate hikes.
The consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of inflation, rose 4.9 percent in February, with inflation pressures spreading from the food sector to other industries.
The central bank has raised benchmark interest rates three times since the start of last year and increased the reserve requirement ratio for commercial banks nine times to contain inflation.