"China's recovery continues, mainly driven by the gradually improving domestic demand conditions," wrote Hongbin Qu, chief economist for China at HSBC in a press release.
A look at the sub-indices showed that production levels increased for the fifth-straight month. The increase in manufacturing output was driven by "solid growth of total new orders".
Inventories of finished goods rose for the first time in six months and this was driven by increased production fueled by an increase in demand.
"The decline in input prices suggests a modest pace of demand recovery moderating inflationary pressures. This, plus the lingering external headwinds, implies the Beijing policy makers should keep a relative accommodative policy stance in place."
This report follows the official manufacturing PMI report, which climbed to 50.9 in March.
One of the key differences between the two reports are the survey size. The National Bureau of Statistics PMI survey looks at responses of 3,000 companies in 21 industries. This compares with about 430 companies surveyed by HSBC.
Here's a look at the HSBC PMI trajectory since 2004:
Many of the world's biggest economies are releasing their March manufacturing PMI reports. Follow it LIVE at Business Insider >
More From Business Insider