China’s service sector grew at its fastest pace in a year in October, the latest sign of a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 56.3 in October from 55.4 in September.
The report comes just days after data showed that China’s manufacturing PMI rose to an 18-month high October.
China’s service sector, which includes construction and aviation, accounts for nearly 43% of its overall economy.
The PMI is a key gauge of the sector’s health and a reading above 50 indicates expansion.
“The non-manufacturing sector should continue to develop at a stable rate over the next few months, though there still needs to be more market training and promotion to further release the service sector’s potential,” said Cai Jin, vice-president of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
‘Will keep growing’
After years of rocketing growth, China saw its pace of growth slow in the first two quarters of this year.
There have been concerns that its growth may dip further. not least because of a slowdown in demand for its exports from key markets.
However, data released over the past few weeks has helped allay those fears.
Figures released last month showed that its economy expanded 7.8% in the July-to-September quarter from a year earlier. That is up from the 7.5% growth recorded in the previous three months.
Official figures also showed growth in industrial output, retail sales and fixed asset investment in October.
China’s President Xi Jinping, who took charge earlier this year amid the slowdown, said he is confident that the country’s economy will continue to grow.
“There are sufficient factors supporting China’s economic development,” the president was quoted as saying by the state-owned Xinhua news agency over the weekend.
“We are confident that the Chinese economy will keep growing in a sustained and healthy way.”
He added that China will continue to push ahead with reforms to help sustain its growth.
“The more China is developed, the more the country will open up,” he said, adding that it is impossible for China to “shut the door already opened up”.