China's manufacturing growth continued to rise in April, fresh evidence of better performance in the manufacturing sector, official data showed on Thursday. The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the country's manufacturing sector rose to 50.4 percent last month, up from 50.3 percent in March, according to a statement jointly released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. This is the second consecutive monthly uptick of the widely-watched data. The index began to climb in March after posting three months of declines. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while above 50 signals expansion. The sub-index for new orders gained 0.6 percentage point in April from the previous month to 51.2 percent, the statement said.