A survey shows Chinese manufacturing grew in June for the first time in six months, but the expansion was weak.
The HSBC Corp purchasing managers index rose to 50.7 from May's 49.4 on a 100-point scale. (Numbers above 50 show growth).
A separate index by an industry group, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, rose to 51 from May's 50.8.
HSBC said its survey found output rose for the first time since January but the rate of improvement was "only slight and weaker than the historical average."
The China government’s official growth target this year is 7.5 percent, but leaders have tried to play down expectations, saying the expansion might come in under that level.
"The June PMI continued to increase, indicating that steady economic growth has basically been established," said economist Zhang Liqun in a statement issued by the Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
HSBC said its survey found the strongest growth in new orders in 15 months.
Export orders rose for a second month but at a weaker pace than May's 49-month high. Employment declined for an eight straight month but at a slower pace than in May.