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China's service sector PMI at one-year low: HSBC


08:28, September 06, 2012

SHANGHAI, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The purchasing managers index (PMI) for China's service sector fell to a 12-month low in August, indicating that the world's second-largest economy still faces downturn risks, an HSBC report said Wednesday.

The British banking giant's final reading of the PMI, which measures the country's non-manufacturing activity, dropped to 52 last month from 53.1 in July due to a drop in new orders, the report said.

The figure jarred with the official PMI figure released Monday, which rose 0.7 percentage points to 56.3 percent from July to August, partly as a result of different sampling methods.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below 50 points to contraction.

HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said the figures showed the economy still faces "downside risks" and urged the government to introduce more easing measures to deal with the impact of declining exports.

The sub-index for new orders from home and overseas dropped to a nine-month low, the report said.

The sector's employment index kept expanding in August, reaching the highest level since November last year, because of companies' expansion plans and growth in new businesses, it said.

The report said average input costs rose for 34 consecutive months in August, driven up by rising costs for labor and raw materials.

The official non-manufacturing PMI is based on a survey of about 1,200 companies in 27 industries, including transportation, real estate and catering, while HSBC tracks smaller private sector firms, including 400 small- and medium-sized companies.

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