BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, rose 7.5 percent year on year in March, official data showed.
Total power use hit 573.2 billion kWh last month, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA).
Power use by the secondary industry increased by 6.3 percent year on year to 388.4 billion kWh in April, while the tertiary industry consumed 86.9 billion kWh last month, up 9.9 percent year on year.
Power use in the first three months totaled 1.68 trillion kWh, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier.
The Chinese economy expanded 6.4 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year, reaching 21.343 trillion yuan (about 3.18 trillion U.S. dollars), according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS data also showed that factory activities became expansionary in March after staying below the threshold for three months.
The purchasing managers' index for the country's manufacturing sector came in at 50.5 last month, up from 49.2 in February.