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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Service sector not optimistic despite modest gains

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

17:03, January 05, 2012

China's service providers reported modest business expansion in December but companies were least optimistic about their future, an HSBC survey showed today.

The HSBC Business Activity Index, a seasonally-adjusted gauge of the service sector in China, remained at 52.5 in December, the same as in November when it hit a three-month low. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

"Unmoved from a month earlier, the service PMI pointed to a subdued growth momentum," said Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC. He expected more aggressive easing measures are in the offing due to a weak manufacturing sector, slower job growth, ongoing property correction and cooling external demand.

The survey said Chinese service providers expressed optimism that their business would improve in the next 12 months. But the extent of the positive sentiment was the lowest since the start of the survey in November 2005.

"Policies aimed at cooling the property sector have dampened business confidence over the month," the survey said.

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