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The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 51.4 in November, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday.
A figure above 50 per cent signals expansion.
Analysts said confidence was boosted by government measures this year to stabilize growth and restructure the economy.
The sub-index for production rose for a fifth month to 54.5 percent, up 0.1 percentage point from October.
After a stint of double digit growth, Chinese leaders have said they are willing to settle for a more sustainable expansion in consumption.
As production picked up, companies bought more raw materials, driving the sub-index for material purchase up 0.9 percentage point to 53.6, new figures show.
China is targeting a 7.5 per cent growth this year. The official data released on Sunday will bolster confidence of the Communist Party leaders who have unveiled a new blueprint for the economy in a key Plenum meet that ended last month.