Official data showed on Monday that China's electricity consumption, a common indicator of economic activity, rose 10.4 percent year on year in September.
The growth, though lower than August's 13.7-percent rise, accelerated from the 8.8-percent increase seen in July and the 2.9-percent growth registered in September 2012, according to data released by the National Energy Administration.
The slowdown was more marked in the industrial sector, with the growth of power consumption for industrial use up 8.1 percent year on year in September, lower than August's 12-percent increase.
Total power consumption in the first nine months of the year rose 7.2 percent to 3.95 trillion kilowatt hours (kwh), the administration said.
During the same period, electricity use by primary industry totaled 77.6 billion kwh, up 0.1 percent year on year. Power consumption by secondary industry reached 2.87 trillion kwh, up 6.5 percent, while consumption by tertiary industry marked the highest rate of growth at 10.9 percent, totaling 475.8 billion kwh.
The data, along with previous indicators, reinforced signs of a gradual recovery in the world's second-largest economy, albeit at a modest growth rate.
China's economic growth slowed to 7.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, from 7.7 percent in the first quarter and 7.9 percent in the final quarter of 2012. The country is scheduled to release its third-quarter growth rate on Friday.
Previously released data showed the country's manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to a 17-month high of 51.1 percent in September, standing above the boom-bust line of 50 percent for 12 consecutive months.