China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 51.4 percent in October, hitting a new high since May 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.
The figure was 0.3 percentage points higher than September.
China's manufacturing PMI has risen for four consecutive months, showing a steady upward trend in manufacturing. A figure above 50 percent signals expansion.
Zhao Qinghe, a senior NBS statistician, attributed the strong PMI to expanding production, and confidence boosted by government measures this year to stabilize growth and restructure the economy.
The sub-index for production rose for a fourth month to 54.4 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from September.
As production picked up, companies also bought more raw materials, driving the sub-index for materials buying up 0.2 percentage points to 52.7.
"Although the manufacturing PMI rose for a fourth month, forces that drove up the index were not balanced, as sub-indices other than production were relatively weak," Zhao said.
The NBS sub-index for employment and raw material inventories both rose on slightly by 0.1 percentage points, but were both still under 50 percent.
The sub-index for new orders dropped 0.3 points to 52.5 percent and business outlook was down by 0.9 points from a month earlier to 57.5 percent in October.