A bevy of manufacturing indexes from around the world on Wednesday underlined the uneven and shaky nature of the global recovery, with activity picking up a notch in the economic powerhouse of China, but cooling in the eurozone and several other Asian countries.
Growth in China, which this year leapfrogged Japan to become the second-largest economy, has been supported by a government stimulus package and lending by state-run banks.
The pace of expansion in China has moderated in recent months, as the government has instructed banks to lend less. But manufacturing data on Wednesday showed that the modest slowdown of the past few months had not become a worrying decline.
Two monthly surveys showed manufacturing activity picked up slightly in August after several months of slight declines.
The government-backed purchasing managers' index ticked up to 51.7, from 51.3 in July. A similar survey compiled by HSBC also rose, to 51.9 from 49.4.
"This reconfirmed our long-held view that China is moderating rather than melting down," said Hongbin Qu, chief China economist at HSBC.