China's manufacturing activity rose more than expected in March, helped by an increase in new orders, according to the latest data.
However analysts warn the world's second largest economy is still slowing.
The official purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 53.1 from 51 in February, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a recent statement.
The rise marks the fourth consecutive month of expansion for manufacturing activity. A reading above 50 indicates industry is expanding, while a reading below 50 suggests it is contracting.
The March figure beat analysts' median forecast of 50.5, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Analysts said the rise in March was likely supported by seasonal factors, as manufacturing tends to pick up in spring and following the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January.
But China's economy is widely expected to slow this year as woes in key export markets such as Europe and the US hit its overseas sales.
In an official statement from China’s Development Research Centre, government researcher Zhang Liqun, said the March reading showed a rebound but he warned overall economic growth was still slowing.