This picture taken on May 3, 2018 shows a worker cutting steel at a factory in Huaibei, Anhui Province, eastern China.
AFP Getty Images
China's official manufacturing purchasing managers index was slightly above expectations at 50.2 for December, the country's statistics department said on Tuesday.
Economists consulted by Reuters expected December's official manufacturing PMI to reach 50.1.
Manufacturing PMI was 50.2 in November, China's National Bureau of Statistics said.
The data are presented as the US and China remain locked in a long trade dispute weighing on sentiment.
On December 13, the US and China announced they had reached a first-phase trade agreement, including tariff relief, increased agricultural purchases and structural changes in intellectual property and technology issues.
PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below this level indicate contraction.
PMI's official survey typically surveys a large proportion of large corporations and state-owned enterprises. The results of a Markit / Caixin private manufacturing PMI survey – featuring a larger mix of small and medium-sized businesses – will be released on Thursday.