BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Strong downstream demand led to increasing sales of excavators in March, data with China Construction Machinery Association showed Sunday.
Sales of excavators last month rose more than 55 percent year on year as the Chinese economy gained momentum. Analysts said April is expected to follow the same pattern.
For the January-March period, sales soared nearly 99 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
Excavator machinery is a barometer of new infrastructure, and its strong growth indicates that the economy could expand steadily in the first half of this year, according to Shen Jianguang, chief economist with Mizuho Securities Asia Limited.
Adding to a slew of upbeat data on the economy, surveys on the country's manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors showed the economy had staged a strong start.
China's manufacturing sector in March stayed above the boom-bust mark for the eighth month in a row, and the non-manufacturing sector continued to expand, nearing a three-year record high, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.