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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Service business index rebounds in March

By Wei Tian  (China Daily)

08:10, April 05, 2012

Rising market demand and growing confidence send the indicator to the highest level since September

A leading indicator of business activity in China rebounded to a six-month high in March.

The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 58, an increase of 0.7 from the February figure, according to a statement released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

The reversal came as rising demand and growing confidence saw a steady expansion of the country's non-manufacturing sector.

Last month, the CFLP reported a February reading of 48.4 percent, but subsequently revised that figure to 57.3 after seasonal factors were taken into account.

A reading above 50 indicates sectoral expansion, while a figure below that mark shows a contraction.

The index has risen for two consecutive months, following a decline in January, and is now at its highest level since September.

"Activity in the non-manufacturing sector was active on the back of rising market demand, and the sector maintained sound growth momentum," the statement said.

Cai Jin, the CFLP's vice-president, said vigorous business activity and rising demand in the service sector were the key drivers of the rise in the March index.

Among the PMI sub-indices, the new orders index for March came in at 53.5, a rise of 0.8 from the previous month, the statement said, adding that the pace of growth of new orders is accelerating.

The new order index for the service sector was 52.8, which was 1.2 points higher than in February, with retailing and information technology registering the fastest growth.

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