BEIJING—China’s economy gathered more steam in September as a rebound in global demand and the government’s supportive measures bolstered factory activity and helped push sentiment in the service sector to its highest level in nearly seven years.
China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 51.5 in September, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, higher than both the 51.2 forecast by economists and August’s reading of 51.0.
A separate private gauge of manufacturing activity, the Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index, stood at a robust 53.0, roughly in line with the previous month’s level. Readings above 50 suggest an expansion in activity, with higher numbers pointing to a broader-based trend.
China’s service sector, a weak link in the economy for much of the summer due to lingering coronavirus concerns, also turned in a strong September. China’s official nonmanufacturing PMI, which includes both the service and construction sectors, jumped to 55.9 in September, its highest result since November 2013 and better than the previous month’s reading of 55.2.
The improvement in the service sector, which Goldman Sachs says accounts for about 80% of the weighting in the nonmanufacturing PMI, was boosted by a bounce back in the transportation, hotel and restaurant industries, as consumers appeared more willing to travel and spend, China’s statistics bureau said.