China services sector growth falls

BEIJING: Business activity in China’s services sector grew at its slowest pace in 21 months in September as the pace of new business cooled, a private survey showed.
The survey was in sharp contrast to an official gauge of the non-manufacturing sector that showed the services sector expanded at the fastest clip since 2014 in September, blurring the picture on how a key part of the economy is performing.
The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 50.6 in September, the lowest reading since December 2015 and one of the weakest since the survey began in 2005.
A reading above 50 indicates growth, and any lower than that signals contraction. The index had hit a three month high of 52.7 in August.
New business in September grew at a slower pace than in the previous month but was still relatively solid with a reading a 52.0, while backlogs of work declined for the first time in five months and hiring slowed.
The survey also showed the services sector continued to see much less inflation than the manufacturing industry, in line with the view that price pressures in China are concentrated in upstream raw materials industries and are not yet percolating through to the consumer level. — Reuters