China's factory activity picked up a bit in December as emerging engines shored upgrowth, official data showed Friday.
China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 49.7 in December, up from49.6 in November, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and theChina Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while that below 50 represents contraction.
Although the low oil prices and tight cash flow at the end of the year have put heavy pressure onChina's manufacturers, strong recovery was seen in production and market demand.
The production sub-index posted at 52.2 in December, up from 51.9 in November, showingaccelerated growth in production.
The sub-index for new orders came at 50.2, back to expansion territory and up from 49.8 inNovember, indicating demand has improved slightly.
While traditional low-cost manufacturing ran out of steam, hi-tech manufacturing bucked thetrend.
The sub-index for hi-tech manufacturing rose to 53 in December, with an average sub-index for2015 beating the overall PMI for manufacturing by 2.9 percentage points.
The data showed China's industrial upgrades and restructuring have been continuouslyadvancing, NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
Manufacturing of computers and telecommunication equipment continued to expand, with theindices for the sectors remaining above 52.
"The figures showed signs of stabilization in China's economy," said Zhang Liqun, analyst withthe China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.