Manufacturing in China saw its first improvement in operating conditions in six months during June, according to new data.

The latest HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows output rose for the first time since January and at a “moderate” pace, supported by the biggest increase in total new work since March last year.

Meanwhile, new export orders rose for the second month running, with increased volumes of new business leading to the quickest depletion of stocks of finished goods for nearly three years.

The PMI was 50.7 in June, up from 49.4 in May, reflecting improving market conditions.

However, the June data also signalled renewed capacity pressures at Chinese manufacturers, with backlogs of work rising for the first time in five months.

“The economy continues to show more signs of recovery, and this momentum will likely continue over the next few months, supported by stronger infrastructure investments,” said Hongbin Qu, chief economist, China, and co-head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC.

“However, there are still downside risks from a slowdown in the property market, which will continue to put pressure on growth in the second half of the year.”