Dec 05, 2016 09:47 AM

Caixin Services PMI Hits 16-Month High in November

(Beijing) — Expansion in China’s service sector gained momentum last month as an indicator tracking the industry’s activity jumped to its strongest level in 16 months, data from a survey sponsored by Caixin showed Monday.

The Caixin General Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 53.1 in November, up from 52.4 in October and the highest reading since 53.8 in July 2015.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below that points to contraction.

The strong performance was partly led by new projects and a rise in new orders, the survey showed.

Services companies increased their staff numbers for the third straight month in November and the rate of job creation, though modest, was the fastest in a year and a half, it said.

The services PMI came after last week’s release of the Caixin manufacturing PMI, which was down to 50.9 in November from the 27-month high of 51.2 in October. But it still marked the fifth-straight month of expansion.

The less-robust manufacturing PMI weighed on the Caixin Composite Output Index, which reflects the health of both manufacturing and service sectors, leading it to stay unchanged from October’s reading of 52.9.

“Price inflation, rather than a structural improvement, seems to be the main reason behind the recent recovery of the economy in general,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group.

Both costs and prices charged for Chinese services increased marginally while manufacturers saw their input and output prices soar much more sharply, the survey showed.

“The economy may remain stable in the fourth quarter, but it will still face significant downward pressure next year,” Zhong said.

The official non-manufacturing business activity index, published by the National Bureau of Statistics last week, reached 54.7 in November, the highest in more than two years.

Contact reporter Fran Wang (; editor Ken Howe (

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