China's services sector grew at its slowest pace in nine months in October as a cooling property sector weighed on demand, a survey showed on Monday, adding to signs of fragility in the world's second-largest economy.
The services sector has been more resilient than the manufacturing sector and is creating more jobs, which partly explains why the government has so far refrained from more aggressive policy easing in supporting the slowing economy.
The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 53.8 in October from September's 54.0, which was the weakest reading since January, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
But it was still comfortably above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
The sub-index of new orders inched up to 51.0 in October from September's 49.5, which was the lowest since December 2008.
"Sub-indices for sectors such as railway transport and real estate remained below the 50 point and market demand weakened," the bureau said.