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China's service sector expansion nears three-year high in March

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-31 10:08

BEIJING - China's non-manufacturing sector continued to expand in March, nearing a three-year record high, official data showed Friday.

The non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 55.1 in March, up from 54.2 in February, and staying above the boom-bust line of 50 for the sixth straight month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The official manufacturing PMI also expanded to 51.8 in March, NBS data showed.

Commercial activities in the service sector grew steadily to 54.2 in March, while the index for new orders rose for the second consecutive month in March, indicating growing market demand.

Retail, airline transport, courier services, Internet and software information technology, finance and insurance were among the fastest growing service sectors, while road transport, catering and property reported contractions.

The service sector accounted for more than half of China's economy last year and for the majority of growth, as rising incomes made catering, hotels and travel services more affordable for Chinese consumers.

Meanwhile, the construction sector expanded faster in March thanks to acceleration of infrastructure investment and development. Market confidence holds strong for construction activities in the near future, according to NBS.

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