This photo taken on May 3, 2018 shows a worker cutting steel at a factory in Huaibei in China’s eastern Anhui province.

AFP | Getty Images

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing came in slightly above expectations at 50.2 for the month of December, the country’s statistics bureau said on Tuesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the official December manufacturing PMI to come in at 50.1.

Manufacturing PMI was 50.2 for the month of November, said China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The data comes as the U.S. and China remain locked in a long-drawn trade dispute that has weighed on sentiment.

On December 13, the U.S. and China announced that they had reached a phase one trade deal including some tariff relief, increased agricultural purchases and structural change to intellectual property and technology issues.

PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that level signal contraction.

The official PMI survey typically polls a large proportion of big businesses and state-owned enterprises. Results of a private manufacturing PMI survey by Markit/Caixin — which features a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms — will be released on Thursday.