Activity in China's services sector expanded for an eighth-consecutive month in August, albeit at the slowest pace of the year, China's Caixin survey showed Tuesday.
Caixin China's Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) recorded 51.8 in August, down 2.3 index points from July and the lowest of the year.
Data showed that services sector employment remained resilient. The employment index was essentially unchanged from July, marking its seventh straight month above the treshold for expansion. The enterprises surveyed said they plan to expand, which further supports service industry employment growth.
Following the decline in supply and demand of the services sector in August, monthly business activity fell to its lowest level of the year, with increases in new orders slowing down. As external demand weakened significantly, new export orders index for the service industry in August fell below critical point the first time this year.
Meanwhile, cost of services continued to rise slightly in August due to higher input costs of materials, labor and fuel. Factory gate prices in the services sector continued to expand but at a slower pace.