China's Purchasing Managers' Index for manufacturing sector remained at 50.6 percent in December, said the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) Tuesday.
This is the third consecutive month that the PMI figure has stayed above 50 percent, which demarcates expansion from contraction, said the CFLP in a report.
Cai Jin, vice chairman of the CFLP, said the continued expansion has suggested a trend of moderate economic recovery and a positive start for the new year's economy.
In November, the figure rose to 50.6 percent from 50.2 percent in October.
Most of the sub-indices saw gains, with the sub-index for input prices up 3.2 percentage points to 53.3 percent from a month earlier. But four sub-indices, including new export order and output sub-index, witnessed slight month-on-month declines that were all within one percentage point.
But Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council, a government think tank, said the trend of economic rebound was still weak as the December PMI data stayed at the same level of the previous month.
Judging from the decline in the sub-index of new export order, Zhang said the export condition was still "not good." Considering an upward trend in domestic consumption and investment, the market demand will remain stable, he said.