The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector rose to 50.3 percent in March, up from 50.2 percent in February, according to official data released on Tuesday. It is the first month-on-month rise since November, according to a statement jointly released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while above 50 signals expansion. The index shows China's manufacturing sector is stable, said Zhao Qinghe, a senior analyst with the NBS. Zhao attributed the rise to the resumption of production and business after the Spring Festival holiday. In March, the sub-index for production stood at 52.7 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from February. The sub-index for new orders also gained 0.1 percentage points to 50.6 percent, the statement said. The two sub-indexes for foreign trade both rose. The sub-index for new export orders gained 1.9 percentage points to 50.1 percent, while the index for imports climbed 2.6 percentage points to 49.1 percent.