Chinese manufacturing growth stalled in September, authorities said Wednesday, as the world's second-largest economy continues to grapple with ways to address slowing expansion.
The official purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 51.5 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
The figure was unchanged from August and slightly above the 50.2 figure given by British bank HSBC in its own survey released Tuesday.
The index tracks activity in China's factories and workshops and is a closely-watched indicator of the health of the economy.
Readings above 50 indicate growth, while anything below points to contraction.
Beijing's official PMI for July came in at 51.7, up from June's 51.0.
China's economy grew a stronger-than-expected 7.5 percent in the second quarter, up from 7.4 percent in the previous three months, which was the worst since a similar 7.4 percent expansion in July-September 2012.
Authorities have introduced a string of measures to try to boost growth since April, including targeted infrastructure spending, small business tax breaks and incentives to spur lending in rural areas and to small companies.
But with indicators in August pointing to slowing industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment, economists have intensified calls for further measures.
A slowdown in China's huge property sector is also weighing on overall growth, with economists worrying that a potential destructive bust in housing prices could dent economic hopes for the Asian powerhouse, a key driver of global and regional growth.
An independent survey of China's housing prices showed the fourth month-on-month fall in a row, but August's decline was slower than July's, as more local governments loosened purchasing restrictions to boost sales.
The average price of a new home in 100 major cities was 10,771 yuan ($1,752) per square metre last month, down 0.59 percent from July, the China Index Academy said.
China is scheduled to announce third-quarter gross domestic product figures on October 21.