China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index jumped to its highest level in a year in March.
Boosted by an increase in new orders, the PMI, published by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, rose to 53.1 in March, up from 51 in February.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction.
However, the picture for March was muddied as the sub-index of HSBC’s China PMI for the month slid to 47.3, down from 50.2 a month earlier and the second lowest reading since March 2009.
"Final PMI results confirm a further slowdown of growth momentum, weighed by weakening new export orders," said Qu Hongbin, an economist at HSBC.