Growth in China's services sector accelerates in August: official PMI

FILE PHOTO: Delivery workers wearing face masks ride scooters in front of Lujiazui financial district, in Shanghai, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, China July 10, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Activity in China’s services sector expanded at a much faster pace in August, official data showed on Monday, as demand across the economy continues to recover from a coronavirus-induced slump.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 55.2 from 54.2 in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

China’s services sector, which includes many smaller, private companies, has been slower to recover from the health crisis than manufacturing, with heavy job losses, pay cuts and fears of a second wave of infections keeping consumers cautious.

The official August composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and services activity, rose to 54.5 from July’s 54.1.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill