Activity in China's service sector expanded at the slowest pace in nearly a year, a private gauge showed Thursday, pointing to possible softness in the sector.
The Caixin China services purchasing managers' index slipped to 51.5 in April --the lowest since May 2016--from 52.2 in March, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said.
Continue Reading Below
A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity from the previous month while a level below that points to a contraction.
Muted business activity growth coincided with a softer expansion of staff numbers in April, although new orders picked up modestly, Caixin said.
An official gauge also pointed to a slower expansion of the sector. China's official nonmanufacturing PMI, which includes the construction sector, dropped to a six-month low of 54 in April, from 55.1, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday.
"A turning point in growth appeared to have emerged at the beginning of the second quarter," said Zhengsheng Zhong, an economist at the CEBM Group.
"Investors should be cautious about downward risks in the economy," he said in a statement.
The index is compiled based on monthly questionnaires sent to purchasing executives at over 400 companies.
-- Write to Liyan Qi at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 03, 2017 22:17 ET (02:17 GMT)