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Japan's services sector growth eases in July

Japanese services sector activity expanded modestly in July amid slowing growth in demand, new businesses and employment, survey data compiled by Jibun Bank Corp. and IHS Markit showed.

The seasonally adjusted Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 51.8 in July from 51.9 in June. The month-over-month expansion was "broadly in line" with the average growth recorded in the year so far, the survey said. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while a reading above 50 reflects expansion.

Employment levels rose for the 31st consecutive month in July, though job creation recorded the weakest growth since October 2018 and the increase in new business slowed to a one-year low. Outstanding work stabilized during the month, while business confidence over the coming year eased to near a two-year low.

The Jibun Bank Japan Composite Output Index, which includes manufacturing and services activities, fell to 50.6 in July from 50.8 in June, on the back of softer growth in new work and demand in the services sector and falling orders in the manufacturing sector.