A private gauge of China’s services sector rebounded at the end of 2021 after falling in November, as both supply and demand improved.
The Caixin China services purchasing managers index increased to 53.1 in December from 52.1 in November, Caixin Media Co. and research company IHS Markit said Thursday.
It pointed in the same direction with the competing official nonmanufacturing PMI, which includes both service and construction activity and showed a recovery in the services sector that was earlier hit by the latest round of coronavirus control measures.
Business activity and total new business both expanded for the fourth consecutive month in December, when new products also helped boost market sentiment, Caixin said. Services companies also registered a further increase in new orders from abroad and the growth of export demand was similar to those experienced in the prior two months.
Improved demand also prompted services providers to add staff and the growth of job creation was the quickest since May, Caixin said.
But surveyed services companies also expressed concerns about disruptions caused by scattered Covid-19 outbreaks, which together with government measures to contain the virus had weighed on new orders.
“Businesses were less optimistic due to worries about the pandemic’s fallout,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.
Although the measure for business expectations remained in positive territory last month, it fell to the lowest level since September 2020 and was remarkably lower than the long-term average, Mr. Wang said.