The mainland's manufacturing activity expanded at a slower pace in March, official data showed on Friday, but the services sector was stronger, with activity expanding at the fastest pace in nearly 12 years.
The official manufacturing purchasing managers' index stood at 51.9, against 52.6 in February, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, above the 50-point mark that separates expansion and contraction in activity on a monthly basis.
That slightly exceeded expectations of 51.5 tipped by economists in a Reuters poll. The February figure had grown at the fastest pace in more than a decade.
The mainland's economic activity picked up in the first two months of 2023 as consumption and infrastructure investment drove a recovery after the end of Covid-19 disruptions and retail sales swung back to growth.
While business and consumer sentiment is starting to pick up, the manufacturing sector remains under pressure amid sluggish global demand and stubbornly high costs. (Reuters)