China’s service sector slowed in January, as a private survey showed Monday that an index for the sector fell slightly after reaching a 17-month high in December 2016.

The Caixin General Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged down to 53.1 last month from 53.4 in December, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media Co. Ltd.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below 50 represents contraction.

New service business continued to rise rapidly, but the rate of expansion declined from that seen at the end of 2016, according to the survey, which is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 400 companies.

The service sector data came after figures on Friday showed the Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 51.0 last month, down from 51.9 in December, mainly on weakened growth in domestic demand.

The slower increases in both manufacturing and services activity at the beginning of the year led the Caixin China Composite Output Index to decrease to 52.2 in January from 53.5 in the previous month, marking the lowest increase since September 2016.

Source: Xinhua/

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