China’s services activity falls in August to its lowest level in eight months | CNN Business

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A private survey of business activity in China’s services sector fell to its lowest level in eight months in August, as a flurry of economic stimulus measures seemed unable to reignite consumption demand.

The Caixin China general services purchasing managers index (PMI) slipped to 51.8 last month from 54.1 in July, according to data released Tuesday by Caixin Media and S&P Global. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below that level shows contraction.

“The slowdown in business activity coincided with a weaker increase in overall new business. New orders increased modestly, and at a pace that was below the average seen for 2023 to date,” Caixin and S&P said in a statement.

This was partly due to weaker foreign demand for Chinese services, they added, citing evidence of sluggish overseas orders.

The result was largely in line with the official August PMI data released last week by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which showed slowing demand for services. The sub-index for the services industry, the biggest source of employment for younger people, fell to the lowest level last month since January, according to the NBS, and was far below pre-pandemic levels.

Compared to the official survey, the Caixin/S&P gauge focuses on smaller businesses and private companies.

After a strong start to 2023 following the lifting of strict pandemic restrictions, economic growth in China has stalled.

Since April, a slew of disappointing economic data and population statistics has sparked concern that China may be facing a period of much slower growth.

Since then, the government has rolled out a steady stream of initiatives intended to restore confidence in the world’s second largest economy.

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