Employees work on a tractor production line in Qingzhou, Shandong province. (WANG JILIN/FOR CHINA DAILY)
The official gauge of China's manufacturing activity improved in July but still indicated contraction for a fourth consecutive, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
The official purchasing managers' index for China's manufacturing sector edged up to 49.3 in July from 49 in June, remaining below the 50-point mark that separates contraction from growth.
The sub-index for production came in at 50.2 in July from 50.3 in June, while the gauge for new orders stood at 49.5 in July versus 48.6 in June.
Meanwhile, manufacturers expressed stronger optimism and confidence with a raft of government measures to promote the development of the private sector, expand domestic demand and boost consumption, said Zhao Qinghe, a senior NBS statistician.
The gauge for manufacturers' expectations for their production and operation surged to 55.1 in July from 53.4 in June, NBS data showed.
China's non-manufacturing PMI came in at 51.5 in July, down from 53.2 a month earlier. Also, the country's official composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities, came in at 51.1 in July compared with 52.3 in June, according to the NBS.