A recent report suggests that China’s service sector may be experiencing a slowdown in growth. The private gauge, known as the Caixin China services purchasing managers index, fell to 51.8 in August from 54.1 in July, marking its lowest level in eight months.
While the index still remains above the key mark of 50, indicating an expansion in activity, the consecutive decline over the past two months raises concerns. The subindexes for business activity and total new orders also decreased compared to July, although they still remained above 50 for the eighth consecutive months. Notably, the subindex for export orders saw a contraction, marking the first decline since December.
Despite the overall slowdown, employment within the service sector continued to expand, albeit at a slower pace. Service providers expressed optimism but with caution, as the expectations about future activity showcased the lowest reading since November.
The official nonmanufacturing PMI, which encompasses both service and construction activity, dropped to 51.0 in August from 51.5 in July, according to recent official data.
The recent data suggests a possible loss of momentum in China’s service sector growth. As economists continue to monitor the situation, it remains to be seen whether this is a temporary setback or a deeper trend that requires attention.