The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51 in May, slightly down from 51.1 in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The May PMI remained in expansion zone, indicating that the country's manufacturing sector continued its steady growth, the data showed.
The sub-index for production stood at 52.7 in May, up 0.5 percentage points from April, signaling a faster pace of recovery in the sector.
The sub-indexes for new orders and raw material inventory slid to 51.3 and 47.7, respectively.
The sub-index for new export orders edged down from 50.4 in April to 48.3, while that for import rose from 50.6 to 50.9.
Monday's data also showed that the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 55.2 in May, up 0.3 percentage points from the April figure.