China's manufacturing activity expanded in October for the first time in three months, government data showed Thursday, while a closely watched private survey of the sector hit an eight-month high.
China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) stood at 50.2 last month, up from 49.8 in September, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics.
A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The result was below the median forecast of 50.3 in a survey of nine economists by Dow Jones Newswires.
Separately, a private survey of Chinese manufacturing released by British banking giant HSBC showed further recovery, though it remained in negative territory for a 12th straight month.
The HSBC purchasing mangers' index stood at 49.5 in October, up from 47.9 in September. This final result compared with a preliminary reading of 49.1 announced on October 24.
"October's final PMI rose to an eight-month high, implying that China's industrial activity continues to bottom out following a modest pick-up last month," Qu Hongbin, HSBC's chief economist for China, said in a statement.
China's official PMI had contracted in August and September amid a broader slump in the economy, which has been hit by weaker demand for China's manufactured goods in Europe and the United States.
China's gross domestic product grew 7.4 percent in the three months until September, slowing for the seventh straight three-month period and marking the worst performance in more than three years.
Analysts suggest better export, industrial production and retail sales data in September could indicate the worst may be over with China poised for stronger growth.