China's manufacturing activity expands faster in August

BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace in August, official data showed Friday.

The country's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 51.3 this month, accelerating from 51.2 in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

The figure was flat with an average reading of 51.3 for the first eight months of the year, according to NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.

"Production continued to expand while market demand remained generally stable," Zhao said.

Sub-index for production rose to 53.3 from 53 in July while the sub-index for new orders edged down from 52.3 in July to 52.2 in August.

Friday's data also showed that China's non-manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace, with the PMI for the sector standing at 54.2 in August, up from 54 in July.

The service sector, which accounts for more than half of the country's GDP, registered fast growth, with the sub-index measuring business activity in the industry standing at 53.4, up from 53 in July.

Rapid expansion was seen in industries including air and railway transportation, retailing and telecommunications, the NBS said.