BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The following are the highlights of China's key business news from the past week:
The steady expansion of China's factory and service activities in April confirmed sustained momentum in the wider economy.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector held steady at 50.1 this month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.
The NBS also said the service activity eased pace but maintained steady expansion in April as the non-manufacturing PMI came in at 54.3.
China's natural gas apparent consumption saw steady growth in the first quarter of 2019 amid efforts to fight air pollution.
Apparent consumption of natural gas rose 11.6 percent year-on-year to 77 billion cubic meters in the first quarter, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Around 76.9 million tonnes of refined oil was consumed in the first quarter of 2019, up 0.4 percent year on year, according to the NDRC.
Gasoline consumption climbed 3.7 percent in Q1, while diesel consumption shed 4.1 percent during the same period.
INCLUSIVE FINANCIAL LOANS
China's inclusive financial loans sped up in the first quarter of 2019, said the central bank in a report.
The outstanding inclusive financial loans amounted to 15.57 trillion yuan (2.31 trillion U.S. dollars) by March, up 14.4 percent year on year, faster than 12.5 percent at the end of the fourth quarter last year, according to the People's Bank of China.
Outstanding loans to small and micro firms grew the fastest among all sectors of inclusive financial credit, going up 19.1 percent to 10.05 trillion yuan.
Chinese insurers continued to see double-digit growth in combined premium income in the first quarter this year.
Premium income topped 1.63 trillion yuan (about 238.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, up 15.9 percent year on year, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
Premium income from life insurance business went up 18 percent during the period, while property insurance increased 7 percent.
China's IT services saw steady revenue growth in the first quarter this year.
Revenue of IT services increased 16.7 percent year-on-year to 858.3 billion yuan (about 127.56 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, accounting for 58.2 percent of the software and IT services sector's total amount, according to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Specifically, the revenue of cloud services rose 15.4 percent from one year earlier, while that for big data services grew 20.7 percent.
With the country's growing emphasis on information safety, the revenue of information safety products and services reached 20.7 billion yuan in the first three months, up 13.4 percent year on year.