Activity in China's services sector expanded at its fastest pace in 15 months in June, a private survey showed on Thursday, reinforcing signs that the broader economy is stabilizing.
The services purchasing managers' index (PMI) compiled by HSBC/Markit rebounded to 53.1 in June from 50.7 in May, well above the 50-point level that demarcates expansion in activity from contraction.
"The expansion in the service sector reinforces the recovery seen in the manufacturing sector, and signaled a broad-based improvement over the month,"said Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC.
"We think the economy is slowly turning around, and expect the recovery to remain supported by accommodative policies on both the fiscal and monetary fronts over the coming months," he added.
In a sign that the domestic economy is regaining some internal strength, a sub-index measuring new business jumped to 53.8 in June, the strongest expansion since January 2013.
Government data on the services sector released earlier in the day also pointed to continued strong expansion, though the pace of growth dipped slightly to 55 for June from 55.5 in May.
The findings follow upbeat readings from similar factory activity surveys earlier in the week which offered signs that the world's second-largest economy is steadying as a flurry of government stimulus measures start to kick in.
Beijing has stepped up policy support in recent months to give a lift to economic growth, which dipped to a 18-month low in the first quarter.
Such measures include targeted reserve requirement cuts for some banks, quicker fiscal disbursements and hastening construction of railways and public housing projects.