China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) climbed to 50.3 in March from February’s 50.2, suggesting the first rise since November last year, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
The low readings in January and February have led to market expectations that China’s economy is slowing down.
"The recent vow by the government to speed up infrastructure investment to maintain stable growth could slightly help boost sentiment," BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research writes in a report.
"We expect growth could rebound again in the second quarter, with investors regaining some confidence and economic activities quickening on expected government policies to stabilize growth," says the report.
The production index, raw material inventory index, employment index and new export order index increased, while supplier delivery time index dropped from last month.
A PMI reading above 50 indicates expanding economic activity and one below that level suggests a contraction.