March 31, 2019 / 1:32 AM / 6 months ago

China's services activity quickens in March: official PMI

FILE PHOTO - A waiter prepares a table for service at Haidilao's new artificial intelligence hotpot restaurant in Beijing, China, November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Growth in China’s services industry quickened in March, an official survey showed on Sunday, offering some respite for a slowing economy.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.8 in March from 54.3 in February, 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 it softened late last year amid a cooling property market and faltering consumer demand for products from cars to mobile phones.

The composite PMI, which covers both manufacturing and services activity, edged up to 54 from February’s 52.4.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Paul Tait

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