May 04, 2018 09:45 AM

Services Growth Accelerates in April

Flight attendants serve meals on an Air China flight from Beijing to Chengdu on April 22. Photo: Wu Gang/Caixin
Flight attendants serve meals on an Air China flight from Beijing to Chengdu on April 22. Photo: Wu Gang/Caixin

Growth in China’s service activity picked up in April after hitting a four-month low in March as new business and employment expanded at a faster pace, a Caixin survey showed Friday.

The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which tracks the country’s growing services sector, rose to 52.9 in April, up from 52.3 in March. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a figure below that points to a contraction.

The new business and employment subindexes both rose, “indicating strengthening demand across the service sector after easing for two consecutive months,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis with consultancy CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group.

Service providers reported stronger increases in sales last month due to improved market conditions, greater tourist numbers and new product offerings, said the index’s compiler.

The rise of the index, combined with the upbeat Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released on Wednesday, drove the Caixin China Composite Output Index that covers both the manufacturing and services sectors up to 52.3 in April, also picking up from a four-month low of 51.8 in March.

The services sector includes finance, real estate services, marketing, transportation and retailing. Also known as the tertiary sector, it accounted for more than half of China’s gross domestic product over the past three years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The official nonmanufacturing PMI released by the NBS, which covers services and construction industries, rose to 54.8 in April from 54.6 a month earlier. The rise was mainly driven by rapid expansion in the air transportation, express delivery and accommodation industries, according to the NBS.

Contact reporter Lin Jinbing (

Read more about Caixin’s economic indexes.

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