China services activity climbs to 6-month high in January

Two employees tie up steel bars at a steel-making plant in Ganyu, China.
ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
Two employees tie up steel bars at a steel-making plant in Ganyu, China.

Activity in China's services industry climbed to a six-month high in January, underscoring divergence with the manufacturing sector that continues to sputter, a survey showed Wednesday.

The Caixin Services Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 52.4 in January from 50.2 in December.

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Panelists cited improved inflow of new business as a key driver of the improvement in the gauge.

"Moreover, the rate of service sector new business growth accelerated to a solid pace that was the strongest in three months. A number of respondents mentioned that new product launches and stronger underlying customer demand had helped to lift sales," Markit, which compiles the survey, said in a statement.

The improvement in sentiment was also reflected in hiring levels. The pace of job creation increased to a six-month high in January and companies noted that they plan to increase their headcount.

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