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China’s service sector improves in October

CHINA'S service sector grew at its fastest pace in four months in October, as new businesses are hiring more workers, a private survey showed.

The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.4 in October, posting the strongest reading since June and versus a reading of 52.0 in September. A reading above the 50 suggests expansion in activity on a monthly basis.

The figures, together with improving factory and service data earlier this week, add signals that the economy of China was on a stabilizing pathway. The finding also reflects government's efforts to switch the growth engine from investment and exports of secondary industry more toward consumption-driven sectors.

Services companies expanded their payrolls for the second month in a row, with the rate of growth edging up to its strongest since January. Firms that hired additional workers generally said they were expanding and expecting orders to continue growing in the future, according to the survey.

Business expectations were more positive than the previous month, but still slightly below August when they hit a six-month high.

"Overall, the economy continued to expand in October and at a stronger growth rate," said Zhong Zhengsheng, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group.

"It may be possible to sustain this stable condition throughout the fourth quarter, but it's important that supportive policies are not relaxed because the economy still lacks sufficient growth momentum."


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