China's manufacturing business activity remained stable in June, with an important index staying in expansion territory, according to data on Wednesday.
The manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI), a key measure of factory activity in China, posted 50.2 in June, unchanged from last month, according to data compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion and China's manufacturing PMI figures have been above the expansion/contraction threshold for the last four months.
The production subindex posted 52.9, flat from last month. But the second quarter was better than the first, said NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe.
As a sign of successful economic restructuring, growth of high-tech and consumer products manufacturing continued to beat overall manufacturing, while high energy-consuming industries saw slower growth, Zhao said.
The subindex for new orders came at 50.1, 0.5 percentage points lower than last month, as domestic and international demand remained subdued.
On the same day, the HSBC released its version of China's June manufacturing PMI, which posted 49.4, up from 49.2 in May. It was the fourth-successive month that the figure was in contractionary territory.
Official PMI covers large enterprises as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while the HSBC poll is more focused on SMEs.
On the upside, there were signs of improvement in the shape of renewed increases in total new orders and new export business, suggesting that client demand both at home and abroad is reviving, said economist Annabel Fiddes in a note accompanying the HSBC release.
"However, it is likely that more stimulus measures will be required to ensure that the sector regains growth momentum and to encourage job creation," Fiddes said.
The People's Bank of China, the central bank, cut interest rates and the amount of cash banks are required to hold as reserves on Saturday following a fortnight of steep decline in the country's stock market.
China is due to release its Q2 GDP data on July 15. The economy expanded 7 percent in Q1, down from a 7.3 percent increase in the last quarter of 2014.