Beijing, April 30 (IANS) Chinese industries maintained expansion in April, although at a slower pace than March, with 52.2 points on the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), 0.6 points less than March, authorities said on Sunday.
The figures did not meet the expectations of the market, but kept over 50 points for the ninth consecutive month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the PMI, figures over 50 show expansion, while figures below it reflect reduction of activity, Efe news reported.
"The slower expansion was in part due to sluggish growth in both market demand and supply," said NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe.
The expansion -- less than estimated -- is a result of a contraction of the high-energy-consuming industries and of a sluggish growth in imports and exports, added Zhao.
The sub-index for production stood at 53.8 in April while the sub-index for new orders came in at 52.3, both down from the figures recorded in March.
Nevertheless, equipment manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing continued with robust growth, with the sub-indices reaching 52.1 and 53.4 respectively, well above the 51.2 registered for all manufacturing industries in March.
Zhao also stated that consumer goods manufacturing rose to 52.2, "indicating an increasingly important role it plays in the economy".