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Caixin/Markit: China services sector growth at 21-month low in September

Chinese business activity in the manufacturing and services sectors grew at a weaker pace in September from August, as China's services sector growth pace was the weakest in 21 months, data from Caixin and IHS Markit showed Oct. 9.

Caixin's Composite Output Purchasing Managers' Index, which covers both manufacturing and services, slipped to a three-month low of 51.4 in September from 52.4 in August. The seasonally adjusted Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index fell to 50.6 from 52.7.

A reading above the 50-point mark points to an expansion.

Manufacturers signaled the softest increase in new business for three months and service providers saw only "a modest upturn" in new order books.

Service firms indicated a marginal increase in cost burdens at the end of the third quarter, while manufacturers saw a sharp rise in input costs.

"[T]he expansion in both manufacturing and services cooled in September, suggesting downward pressure on economic growth may re-emerge in the fourth quarter," said Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group.