China September services sector growth slows slightly: official PMI

FILE PHOTO: People ride an escalator near skyscrapers at Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Growth in China’s services sector activity slowed slightly in September, official data showed on Monday.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 53.7 from 53.8 in August, but stayed well above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

The services sector accounts for over half of China’s economy, providing an important buffer as trade tensions with the United States escalate. But growth has been generally cooling over the past year amid a broader slowdown, which is making businesses and consumers more cautious on spending.

The official August composite PMI, which covers both manufacturing and services activity, rose to 53.1 from August’s 53.0.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Shri Navaratnam