Beijing: China's manufacturing activities achieved a 17-month record high in September, an official survey showed, indicating a stable economic rebound.
China's Purchasing Managers' Index for the manufacturing sector rose to 51.1 percent in September from 51 percent in August, Xinhua reported Tuesday citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction while anything above signals expansion.
It was the third consecutive month for the index to climb month on month and September's figure was the highest recorded since May 2012.
Zhang Liqun, researcher at the Development Research Centre of the State Council, said the index edged up slightly but the growth rate was not dramatic indicating weak rebound momentum.
The sub-index for new orders climbed to 52.8 percent, up 0.4 percentage points month on month.
The sub-index for new export orders gained 0.5 percentage points month-on-month to reach 50.7 percent in September while the sub-index for production hit 52.9 percent, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous month, setting a four-month high.
The sub-index for purchasing quantity was 52.5 percent, an eight-month record high.
The sub-index for purchasing prices of major raw materials was 54.5 percent, up 1.3 percentage points from the previous month.
Enterprises are more confident in the future of the market as is reflected in their active purchasing, said Zhao Qinghe, a senior NBS statistician.
However, despite the overall positive signs, growth is imbalanced as large and medium-sized enterprises are improving but small companies are still having difficulties, Zhao said.