China's non-manufacturing PMI down in March

A customer buys products at a time-honored food store in east China's Shanghai Municipality, April 26, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 48.4 in March, down from 51.6 in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below it reflects contraction.

Business activities in the non-manufacturing sector were affected by COVID-19 resurgences, according to NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.

In March, the sub-index for business activities in the services sector stood at 46.7, down 3.8 percentage points from that in February.

Enterprises in sectors such as railway transport, aviation, accommodation and catering are facing increasing pressure, with the sub-index for business activities decreasing by over 20 percentage points in these sectors, Zhao said.

Sectors like telecommunications, satellite transmission, as well as currency and financial services, however, remain in the expansion territory, he added.

The overall business expectation of the construction sector strengthened due to the warm weather, with the sub-index for business activities in the sector standing at 58.1 in March, increasing by 0.5 percentage points from the previous month.

Most non-manufacturing firms are still confident about the market, Zhao said, citing a sub-index measuring business activity expectations, which stood at 54.6.

Thursday's data also showed that the PMI for China's manufacturing sector came in at 49.5 in March, down from 50.2 in February.