BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing sector in March stayed above the boom or bust mark for the eighth month in a row, fresh evidence of a stabilizing economy, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The country's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 51.8 in March, higher than 51.6 recorded in February, according to NBS data released Friday.
The reading beat market expectations and was the highest in nearly five years. In April 2012, it reached 53.3.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
This also marked the second consecutive month that the expansion rate of the index accelerated.
Major sub-indexes posted upticks, pointing to strengthened momentum of the manufacturing sector, said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.
The sub-index for production stood at 54.2 in March, higher than 53.7 registered in February.
The sub-index for new orders rose to 53.3 in March from 53 in February.
"High-tech manufacturing continued its rapid expansion, and some traditional manufacturing industries' production and management conditions continue to be on the mend," Zhao said.
The sub-index for high-tech manufacturing industry topped 54.2 in March, well above 51.8 registered for all manufacturing industries.