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CHINA – SERVICES SECTOR EXPANDS, BUT 2019 BUSINESS OUTLOOK TO SOFTEN (REUTERS)

China’s services sector grew at its quickest pace in five months in November, reports Reuters. The growth was attributed to an uptick in new orders, however the outlook for businesses over the next year worsened for the third month. The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 53.8 in November from 50.8 in October, well above the 50.0 mark, which represents an expansion. This month’s rebound off the 13-month low in October suggests pockets of strength in domestic demand in a sector that accounts for more than half of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) and urban jobs. However, intense competition and an uncertain outlook on client demand hit business sentiment, with the confidence gauge towards the next 12 months slipping to a four-month low of 56.1. Meanwhile, Chinese firms also increased their staffing in November, but at a more gradual pace than a month earlier. The sub-index for employment was at 50.7 versus 51.1 in October. While employment in the sector has expanded for 27 months, with the exception of a slight dip in September this year, the growth has been lower than the historical average.

Source: staffingindustry.com