BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) -- China's factory activities returned to expansion territory in June after three consecutive months of contraction, showed official data released Thursday, indicating that the world's second-largest economy is on a clear path to recovery.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 50.2 in June, up from 49.6 in May, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
"As the epidemic prevention and control situation in China continues to improve and policies and measures to stabilize the economy take effect at a faster pace, China's overall economic recovery is picking up," NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said.
The sub-index for production stood at 52.8 in June, up 3.1 percentage points from the previous month, and the sub-index for new orders stood at 50.4, up 2.2 percentage points from May.
"Among the 21 industries surveyed, the number of industries with PMI in expansion zone increased to 13 in June, showing continued improvement in the country's manufacturing sector," Zhao said.
In June, the sub-index measuring suppliers' delivery time rose 7.2 percentage points to 51.3, suggesting a significant improvement in supply logistics.
In June, the sub-index for production and business expectations rose to 55.2, a three-month high, indicating that enterprises are continuously regaining confidence.
Despite the recovery in factory activities, Zhao warned that market demand remains weak and some manufacturing companies are grappling with squeezed profit margins.
Wen Tao, an expert with the China Logistics Information Center, said the country needs to expand effective demand and ensure the supply and price of important raw materials and basic products to consolidate the recovery momentum.
Thursday's data also showed that the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 54.7 in June, up from 47.8 in May.