A private survey showed Saturday that manufacturing activity in China expanded at a weaker pace in March as an index for the sector fell from the previous month.
The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 51.2 last month from 51.7 in February, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media Co. Ltd.
Caixin attributed the weaker expansion to new export orders that increased at the slowest rate in three months.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a number below 50 points to contraction.
The pullback in March's manufacturing PMI may temper optimism over the pickup in economic growth that followed better-than-expected data over the first two months of the year, according to the survey.