BEIJING, Aug. 1 -- China's manufacturing activity quickened to the highest level in more than two years in July, reinforcing signs that the economy is firming up on government support policies.
The purchasing managers' index rose to 51.7 in July, up from 51 in June, according to data released on Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
The stronger-than-expected data marked the fifth monthly recovery of the PMI, a widely watched indicator for the health of the world's second largest economy.
NBS statistician Zhao Qinghe attributed the strength to government growth-stabilizing policies and the continuously improving external environment, which helped boost production and new orders.
In breakdown, the production index came in at 54.2, the highest level in 2014, while the index for new orders races to the highest since May 2012.
After a shaky start this year, Chinese policymakers have pinned hopes on quickening fiscal spending and selectively easing monetary policies to support faltering growth.
In the first six months, total national fiscal spending expanded 15.8 percent from a year ago to 6.92 trillion yuan (1.12 trillion U.S. dollars). For June alone, the figure surged 26.1 percent to 1.65 trillion yuan.
Along with the proactive fiscal policy, more focus has been put on optimizing credit structure against the backdrop of prudent monetary policy and reasonable credit growth.
Helped in part by these efforts, China's economic growth showed recovery signs in the second quarter, accelerating to 7.5 percent from the 7.4-percent expansion in first quarter.