China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in March, which is 1.3 percentage points higher than 50.6 in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). While the country’s services PMI, which includes the construction sector, rose to 56.3 from 51.4 in the prior month. Robust economic activities post the Lunar New Year holidays and higher export orders boosted the manufacturing sector.
The PMI of large, medium and small enterprises rose to 52.7pc, 51.6pc and 50.4pc, respectively, up by 0.5, 2.0 and 2.1 percentage points from February.
China’s production index rose to 53.9pc, up by 2.0 percentage points from February amid ramp-up of production in the manufacturing sector. The country’s new order index increase to 53.6pc, up by 2.1 percentage points from the prior month indicating robust demand. The index for raw materials rose to 48.4pc, up by 0.7 percentage points from February amid a decline in major raw material inventory in the industry.
Export order’s and import index increased to 51.2pc and 51.1pc respectively, up by 2.4 and 1.5 percentage points from February. China’s exports recovered on the back of the US government’s $1.5 trillion stimulus package
The construction sector reported the strongest rebound amid favourable weather conditions and normalization of production post-holidays. The index for the construction industry rose to 62.3pc, up by 7.6 percentage points from the prior month.
Swift and effective response to the pandemic supported China’s strong strong recovery in 2020. China grew at 6.5pc in Q4 2020 amid strong industrial production, investments in infrastructure and housing, exports, and a steady recovery in private consumption. China will continue to recover in 2021 despite concerns over high financial leverage and tweaking of stimulus policies, said a report by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).