BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.5 in September, up from 51 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction. It is the seventh month in a row that the figure has remained in the expansion territory.
Commenting on the sustained expansion, NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said the Chinese economy keeps recovering steadily with increasing positive factors as the country continues to advance the policies of balancing epidemic control and economic development.
In September, the sub-index for production stood at 54, up 0.5 points month on month, while that for new orders rose 0.8 points to 52.8.
With the steady recovery of supply and demand as well as the coming of the busy season for traditional manufacturing, enterprises' purchasing willingness is on the rise and market activities are increasing, Zhao said.
With the implementation of policies on stabilizing foreign trade, the export and import of the manufacturing sector saw further improvements, Zhao said. The sub-index measuring new export orders gained 1.7 points from the previous month to 50.8, above the boom-bust line of 50 for the first time this year.
The sub-readings for high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing stood at 54.5 and 53, respectively, pointing to quickening industrial upgrading.
Besides, thanks to measures to aid small and micro businesses, the PMI for small firms came in at 50.1, up 2.4 points from the previous month.
However, despite the overall improvements in manufacturing PMI, the recovery of the sector was not balanced, Zhao noted.
Wednesday's data also showed that the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 55.9 in September, up from 55.2 last month.
In September, the service sector accelerated its pace of recovery, with the sub-index for business activities expanding 0.9 points from the previous month to 55.2.
The effects of policies encouraging consumption continued to filter through, boosting domestic demand and reviving business activities, Zhao said.
While analyzing the PMI readings for September, Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Bank, said in a co-authored research note that the Chinese economy has maintained a streak of steady recovery, with improvements in both supply and demand.
However, challenges still persist for further economic recovery as the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been curbed, Wen said, adding that support for the manufacturing sector and small firms should be beefed up. Enditem