China's non-manufacturing activity this month registered the fastest expansion in more than a decade thanks to rapidly recovering services and a vibrant construction industry, official data showed Friday.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector went up for a third straight month to 58.2 in March, the highest since May 2011, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The figure was 56.3 in February and 54.4 in January.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below it reflects contraction.
Senior NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe said the recovery of the service sector gained momentum with effective pro-consumption measures and the construction industry also reported quicker expansion as building projects across the country picked up pace amid the warming weather.
The sub-index for the service sector was 56.9 in March, higher than 55.6 last month and 46.7 a year ago. In particular, business activities of retail and transport stood well above 60, indicating improving consumption and travel sentiment of residents.
Meanwhile, the construction sector's sub-index was 65.6 this month, up from 60.2 in February. The labor demand of building companies has increased for three consecutive months, and the optimism about the sector's prospects has remained high for four months in a row.