Japan's service sector expanded in September at the slowest rate in 11 months as the Nikkei Japan Services Purchasing Managers Index eased to a seasonally adjusted 51.0 from 51.6 in August.
While the index remained above the 50 threshold that separates expansion from contraction for the 12th straight month, it was at its lowest level since October 2016, Reuters reported Oct. 4.
The new business index expanded at a reduced pace, down to 52.0 in September from 52.4 in August, Reuters said.
Business confidence picked up to 53.3 in September from 52.4 in August, said Reuters.
"Softer growth in new work squeezed activity to its slowest growth rate in nearly a year, while job creation remained modest," said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit.
The Nikkei Composite Output Index, which includes both manufacturing and services, fell to 51.7 in September from 51.9 in August.