China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose slightly to 50.3 in July from 50.1 in June, according to official data released on Thursday.
The manufacturing PMI has stayed above the boom-bust line of 50 for 10 months in a row, according to data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP).
China's economy has been stuck in a protracted slowdown, easing to 7.5-percent growth in the second quarter from 7.7 percent in the first three months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Data showed that the sub-index for new orders rose 0.2 points to 50.6 , while that for new export orders was up by 1.3 points from June.
Most sub-indices increased from a month earlier, the CFLP said.
The sub-index for production moved up 0.4 points from June to 52.4, while that for raw material inventories was up 0.2 points from June to 47.6.
The sub-index for the purchasing prices of major raw materials surged 5.5 points to 50.1 in July, while the employment sub-index edged up 0.4 points to 49.1.
The business outlook sub-index rose 2.3 points to 56.4, ending a dropping trend for the previous three months and signaling that more companies are positive about their business prospects for the next three months.
The sub-index of PMI for small companies rose on the second consecutive month in July to 49.4, up 0.5 points month on month.
Presented by Adam Justice