New stats show China winning hard landing battle

Manufacturing and service sector success help to allay economic concerns...

New stats show China winning hard landing battle

Andy Wong / AP

Good news for those concerned that China's economy is bound for a hard landing yesterday, as new figures show stronger-than-expected performances in certain sectors.

The Caixin/Markit China services purchasing managers' index (PMI), which takes the temperature of small private firms, enjoyed a noteworthy increase in March. The index was up 52.2 points compared to February's 51.2 reading, with any figure over 50 showing that the sector is expanding.

This followed last week's announcement that manufacturing activity is falling at a slower-than-forecast rate.

It means the overall Caixin Composite PMI is back in positive territory at 51.3. Following a February contraction to 49.4, the March performance was "the strongest expansion of overall business activity" in the country for 11 months, according to Caixin.

It ties in with positive official news for larger and state-owned companies in the world's second-largest economy, with the government reporting a rebound from 49 to 50.2.

While manufacturing generally enjoys a March bounce as businesses return after the Chinese New Year break, the figures were higher than average and easily above market expectations.