CHINA’S services sector expanded at a slower pace in January, raising concerns that economic growth may slow from the fourth quarter of last year, a private survey showed yesterday.
The Caixin China General Services PMI, a gauge of operating conditions in mostly private service companies, dipped to 53.1 points in January from a 17-month high of 53.4 in December, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media.
A sub-index showed growth in new work at services companies rose more slowly but remained the second-fastest since June 2014, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, services companies were quick to raise their prices.
“New business continued to grow rapidly, though at a marginally slower rate than in the previous month, while input prices and output charges increased at faster rates,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macro-economic analysis at CEBM Group. “The economy continued to recover, but the expansion rate has slowed.”
The slower service expansion echoed with cooler manufacturing growth as the Caixin General Manufacturing PMI, released last Friday, dipped by 0.9 points month on month to 51 in January.
China’s official manufacturing PMI, released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, dipped 0.1 points from December to 51.3 points last month.
The official non-manufacturing PMI, however, added 0.1 points to 54.6.
Zhong said manufacturing and services continued to expand in January, but China’s economy is unlikely to keep the pace of expansion seen in the fourth quarter of last year.
He also warned inflationary pressure would continue to rise as charges across services providers and goods producers increase further.
China’s GDP grew 6.7 percent last year, with the fourth quarter expanding 6.8 percent and exceeding market expectations.