China's government says manufacturing activity continued to recover in April, with an index of purchasing managers' sentiment rising for the fifth straight month.
The index released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics rose to 53.3 in April from 53.1 the previous month. The index bottomed out at 49 in November. Index readings of more than 50 indicate expansion in the manufacturing sector; readings below 50 indicate contraction.
The Chinese government's report has been more positive than a separate, closely watched report from the banking company HSBC. In its preliminary April report, released April 23, the HSBC index rose to 49.1 from 48.3 in March -- an improvement that still indicates contraction. The final report will be released Wednesday.