Upbeat news on China's massive manufacturing activity sector on Tuesday raises the question of whether it's time to wean the economy off growth-supportive measures.
China's factory growth rose to a six-month peak, with the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rising to 51 in June from 50.8 in May amid improving demand both at home and abroad.
The final reading of the HSBC/Markit PMI for June meanwhile rose to 50.7 from 49.4 in May, breaking above the 50-point mark that divides growth in activity from contraction for the first time since December.
"You're seeing a fairly steady flow of stimulus measures and it does seem the economy is responding," said Bank of Singapore Chief Economist Richard Jerram. "The PMIs are now at levels where stimulus eases off, so we could expect to see such measures slow in coming months."
The breakdown of the HSBC survey showed the sub-index for new orders, which reflects demand for China's exports, hit a 15-month high of 51.8 in June.
Chinese authorities have rolled out a series of targeted economic measures over recent weeks, also referred to as a "mini stimulus," to support growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Last month for instance, the level of reserves banks must hold with the central bank was cut for banks that have sizable loans to the farming sector and small-and-medium sized firms.
Late Monday, China said it would relax the rules used for calculating the amount of deposits that banks can re-lend as loans in what is seen as the latest in a package of measures to support a slowing economy.
China's economy grew at annual pace of 7.4 percent in the first quarter, slowing from 7.7 percent in the final quarter of last year.