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China's services sector grows at fastest pace in over a decade in June: Caixin PMI

China's services sector grows at fastest pace in over a decade in June: Caixin PMI

7/3/2020 12:25:00 PM

China's services sector grows at fastest pace in over a decade in June: Caixin PMI

China's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade in June as the easing of coronavirus-related lockdown measures revived consumer demand, a private survey showed on Friday, though companies continued to shed jobs.

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade in June as the easing of coronavirus-related lockdown measures revived consumer demand, a private survey showed on Friday, though companies continued to shed jobs.

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FILE PHOTO: An electric delivery vehicle drives in the Central Business District in Beijing, China October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File PhotoThe Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 58.4, the highest reading since April 2010, from May’s 55.0, pulling further away from the trough hit in February as the coronavirus lockdown paralysed the economy.

The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.The rebound suggests China’s overall recovery is becoming more balanced and broader based as life slowly returns to normal in one of the world’s biggest consumer markets, though analysts believe it will take months for activity to return to pre-crisis levels.

The services sector accounts for about 60% of the economy and half of the urban jobs, and includes many small, private companies which had been slower to recover initially than large manufacturers. Heavy job losses, pay cuts and fears of a second wave of infections have made some consumers cautious about spending and going out again.

“This (latest survey) suggests the services sector’s recovery is gaining traction,” said analysts at Nomura, which recently raises its forecast for China’s second-quarter GDP growth to 2.6% year-on-year from 1.2%.“However, we caution that the recovery momentum could lose some steam in coming months.”

The Caixin survey showed a sub-index for new business received by Chinese services firms rose to 57.3 from 55.8 in May, with the rate of growth accelerating to the fastest since August 2010.New export business also expanded for the first time since January on firmer foreign demand, in contrast to overseas orders for manufactured goods, which continued to contract as many of China’s trading partners remained in lockdowns.

Services companies were also able to raise their prices slightly, ending a six-month streak of discounting as firms promote sales, while business confidence over the next 12 months strengthened to a three-year high.But employment remained stuck in contractionary territory for fifth consecutive month, with corporate headcounts falling at a faster pace than in May, highlighting the immense pressure facing Chinese policymakers this year as they vow to stabilise the labour market.

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“Although businesses were optimistic about the economic outlook, they remained cautious about increasing hiring, with employment in both the manufacturing and services sectors shrinking,” said Wang Zhe, Senior Economist at Caixin Insight Group, in an statement accompanying the data release.

“Addressing the employment problem requires not only macro policies to further promote work resumption, but also more targeted relief measures introduced by governments to tide companies over.”Caixin’s composite manufacturing and services PMI, also released on Wednesday, picked up to 55.7 in June from 54.5 in May.

China’s economy is gradually emerging from a sharp 6.8% contraction in the first quarter, with much of the country now reopened after disruptions early in the year due to strict lockdown measures.But analysts warned that a new surge of COVID-19 cases in the capital Beijing and some surrounding cities threatens to undercut growth, with many entertainment venues remaining shut due to concerns about infections.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill Read more: Reuters Top News »

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US companies added 2.37 million jobs in June, fewer than economists expected, ADP says - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. Those are furloughed workers being called back, let's make that clear. You mean furloughed workers going back to work. Its critical that these number be communicated accuartely b/c ppl will interpret this as the economy is making a come back- false. Companies are NOT hiring net new employees. They have hiring freezes and are still laying ppl off. It’s good to keep news positive. But, majority of the companies have reduced overhead (people). The positive numbers are those furloughed during lockdown. Also, the world is discussing inequality. So, all professionals will not be called back fairly. This is fact.