China's services sector grew marginally faster in November as new orders rose at their quickest pace in 2-1/2 years, a private survey showed, an encouraging sign of strength that contrasts sharply with the gloom in the other parts of the economy.
The HSBC/Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) inched up to 53.0 last month from October's 52.9, above the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction in activity on a monthly basis.
New orders were especially buoyant. The new business sub-index climbed to 54.2 in November from 53.1 the previous month, a high not seen since May 2012.
The resilience in the services sector compares with cooling growth in Chinese factories. A pair of manufacturing PMIs showed earlier this week that growth in factories in November slid to lows unseen in at least six months.