BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) - The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 56.3 in March, up from 51.4 in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
In March, the sub-index for business activities in the services sector stood at 55.2, up from 50.8 in February.
The surge reflects a faster recovery in the services sector as epidemic control efforts paid off and consumption demand continued to increase, said senior NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe.
The sub-indexes for business activities in railway and air transportation, telecommunications and satellite transmission as well as financial services came in at above 60, indicating the rapid growth of business volumes in these areas.
There have been marked improvements in businesses affected by the resurgence of sporadic COVID-19 cases in the winter. The sub-indexes for business activities in the hotel and lodging sector, leasing and commercial services, as well as resident services, all returned to the expansion territory.
The sub-index tracking business activity expectations for the services sector hit 62.9, remaining above 60 for a second consecutive month, showing most service enterprises are optimistic about the market in the near term.
NBS data points to stronger performances in China's construction industry as construction activities picked up after the weather warmed, with the sub-index for business activities rising to 62.3 in March from 54.7 a month earlier.
Wednesday's data also shows that the PMI for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.9 in March, edging up from 50.6 in February.