BEIJING (Reuters) – Growth in China’s services sector activity slowed to the lowest since February 2016 in October, official data showed on Thursday, pointing to a further weakening in domestic demand and mounting pressure on the world’s second-largest economy.
The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 52.8 from 53.7 in September, though it remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Beijing has been counting on resilient service sector growth to help offset the drag from its sluggish manufacturing sector, which is being weighed down by weak domestic and global demand and a protracted trade war with the United States.
However, services activity began to cool late last year amid the broader downturn, which has seen economic growth slow to near 30-year lows.
The official July composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and services activity, fell to 52.0 from September’s 53.1.
(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)