BEIJING--An official gauge of China's factory activity rose for a second straight month in November, adding to recent signs of firmness in the world's second-largest economy, official data showed Thursday.

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index increased to 51.7 from October's 51.2.

The index has now stayed above the 50 mark, which separates an expansion of activity from a contraction, for four straight months.

The November reading beat a median forecast of 51.0 by 10 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The subindex measuring new orders climbed to 53.2 from 52.8 in October, while the production subindex improved to 53.9 from 53.3, the statistics bureau said.

China'sofficial nonmanufacturing PMI, also released Thursday, also rose to 54.7 in November from 54.0 in October.

Write to Liyan Qi at liyan.qi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 30, 2016 20:31 ET (01:31 GMT)

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