The July Caixin China Composite purchasing managers' index rebounded to a four-month high of 51.9 in July from June's 51.1, Caixin and IHS Markit said Aug. 3.
The improvement was shouldered by an upturn in manufacturing production, which increased at the fastest pace in five months in July.
However, service sector activity expanded at a modest pace with the Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index at 51.5, slightly down from 51.6 in June.
Confidence in the year ahead moderated in the manufacturing and service sectors. Positive sentiment dipped to an 11-month low among goods producers, while service providers had the weakest level of optimism since November 2016, the report said.