Growth in China's manufacturing sector picked up further in August, with the official purchasing managers' index (PMI) rising to 51 from July's 50.3, better than expectations and further evidence of a stabilization in the economy after a recent slowdown.
A reading above 50 indicates expanding activity while a figure below that level points to a contraction.
The PMI figure, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, was stronger than market expectations in a Reuters poll of 50.6.
As one of the first indicators gauging the state of the economy for the August, the PMI could bode well for the other data to be released later, further confirming a stabilizing trend of the economy.
Chinese officials have been expressing optimism recently over the growth outlook, saying there are clear signs of stabilization emerging from the economy and that the government's annual GDP target of 7.5 percent is achievable.