July 31, 2019 / 1:25 AM / a year ago

China's service sector activity grows at slower pace in July: official PMI

FILE PHOTO: A streak of lightning is seen above the skyline of Shanghai, China, August 19, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s services sector activity grew at a slower pace in July, an official survey showed on Wednesday, heaping pressure on Beijing which is counting on the sector to help weather a sharp hit to its manufacturers and the economy from the Sino-U.S. trade war.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 53.7 from 54.2 in June, but stayed well above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Services account for more than half of China’s economy, and rising wages have increased Chinese consumers’ spending power in recent years. But the sector softened late last year along with a slowdown in the economy.

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

Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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