China Slowdown Spreads as Services Gauge Slips to Six-Month Low

A gauge of China’s services industry expanded at the weakest pace in six months as a slowdown spreads to areas of the economy that had been outperforming the nation’s flagging factories and sagging property market.

The Services Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics for January was at 51.8, down from 53.4 a month earlier. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

Services made up 48.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2014, up 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier and one of the brighter performers in an economy that expanded at the weakest pace since 1990. China’s central bank, which cut interest rates in November for the first time in two years, has since added liquidity in targeted measures rather than with follow-up rate cuts or lowering banks’ required reserve ratios.


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