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China's manufacturing activity expanded in April
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China's manufacturing activity expanded in April

China's manufacturing activity expanded for the second consecutive month in April, an official survey showed, though the expansion slowed a bit amid lackluster domestic demand.

China's official purchasing managers index for the manufacturing sector stood at 50.4 in April versus 50.8 in March, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Zhao Qinghe, an NBS statistician, said the manufacturing PMI remained in expansion territory in April amid a continued recovery trend. "The level of economic prosperity in China continues to rebound."

The sub-index for production rose to 52.9 in April from 52.2 in March, while the gauge for new orders came in at 51.1 in April, down from 53 in March, the NBS said.

NBS data showed manufacturers expressing optimism and confidence with the gauge for manufacturers' expectations for their production and operation standing at 55.2 in April versus 55.6 in March.

China's non-manufacturing PMI, which incorporates sub-indexes for service sector activity and construction, came in at 51.2 in April versus 53 in March.

The country's official composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities, dropped from 52.7 in March to 51.7 in April, according to the NBS.

Official data showed a mixed picture of the economic recovery, with China's GDP growth accelerating to 5.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter while March's industrial profits declining 3.5 percent.

Market observers are eagerly awaiting an upcoming meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee for clues on whether more policy stimulus will be introduced to consolidate the recovery trend. Yetao

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