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China Service Sector Growth At 6-month High In December

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China's service sector growth hit a six-month high in December amid greater demand from abroad, leading to faster private sector expansion, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Friday.

The headline seasonally adjusted Caixin services Purchasing Managers' Index rose slightly to 53.9 from 53.8 in November.

The Caixin Composite PMI climbed to a five-month high of 52.2 in December from 51.9 in November.

A PMI reading above 50 suggests growth in the sector.

Though the output rose strongly, the overall new business increased only slightly in December, amid divergent trends between manufacturers and services firms.

New work rose in the services sector, largely led by demand from the foreign market that grew at the fastest pace in six months.

The employment growth in the services sector was the weakest in three months, while job creation decreased in manufacturing. Employment in the overall private sector declined marginally in December.

Backlogs of work rose in both sectors in December.

On the price front, input prices continued to rise for services firms. Private sector input prices rose at the joint-weakest rate for two-and-a-half years, while selling prices fell for the first time since May 2017.

The business confidence remained relatively subdued in the context of historical data, amid concerns over relatively soft market conditions.

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