January 31, 2019 / 1:14 AM / in 2 months

China's services activity picks up in January - official PMI

BEIJING, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Growth in China’s services industry picked up for a second straight month in January, an official survey showed on Thursday, reflecting some pockets of strength in an economy that is cooling under pressure from weak demand at home and abroad.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.7 in January from 53.8 in December, well above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

The fast-growing services sector accounts for more than half of China’s economy, and has helped buffer the impact of slowing manufacturing.

But services activity softened last quarter amid a cooling property market and faltering consumer demand. Wage gains which have fuelled spending are starting to slow, while household debt is on the rise.

The composite PMI, which covers both manufacturing and services activity, ticked up to 53.2 in January, from December’s 52.6. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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