The reading was also an improvement from a preliminary reading of 50.4 released earlier last month.

“China’s manufacturing sector kept relatively steady growth momentum in November, as the final manufacturing PMI was revised up from the flash reading on the back of faster new business gains,” HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said.

The report comes a day after an official survey that found manufacturing activity was unchanged.

The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on Sunday that its Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) remained at 51.4, the same as October.

China’s leaders are counting on a continuing recovery to avoid the need for further stimulus as they focus on longer-term reforms aimed at reorienting the economy to growth based on domestic consumption instead of exports and investment.

China’s economic growth rose to 7.8 percent in the third quarter after slumping to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the previous three months.

The HSBC report, based on responses from 420 businesses, found that manufacturing output grew for the fourth straight month and at the strongest pace since March.

New orders also expanded at the fastest rate in eight months, although new orders from customers in the U.S. and Europe expanded by a fraction, “suggesting that new order growth was largely driven by domestic demand”, the report said.

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