China’s manufacturing sector expanded at a better-than expected rate in November, reinforcing signs of a pick-up in economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy. However, the rate of expansion eased slightly from October, a survey published Monday by HSBC showed.

The final reading of the HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, for November stood at 50.8, compared to last week’s preliminary reading of 50.4, aided by resilient growth in new business orders. The headline figure was recorded at 50.9 in October.

"China's manufacturing sector kept relatively steady growth momentum in November, as the final manufacturing PMI was revised up from the flash reading on the back of faster new business gains," Hongbin Qu, chief China economist at HSBC, said in a statement.

New orders jumped to 50.7 -- an eight-month high in November from a reading of 51.5 in October. However foreign demand decreased to a three-month low, indicating that the Chinese economy has begun to shift toward a domestic-consumption oriented economic model and reduced reliance on exports.

The uptick in the survey, which is weighted toward small- and mid-sized companies, also indicates that recent reform measures announced by the Chinese government to prop up the slowing economy have begun to yield results.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a reading below 50 shows contraction. The index has remained above the contraction benchmark level for the last four months.

Meanwhile, according to data released Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, activity in the Chinese manufacturing sector in November held steady, unchanged from a 51.4 percent reading recorded in October.