A private gauge measurement activity in China’s service sector fell to its lowest level since the epidemic began in February 2020, as the growth of measures to prevent the spread of the virus weighed heavily on consumer demand.
The Caixin Services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 42.0 in March to 36.2 in April, according to Caixin Media Co. And research firm IHS Markit said Thursday. Readings continue sharply below the 50 mark which separates the contraction from the expansion.
The indicator points in the same direction as the official non-manufacturing PMI, which includes both service and construction activity. China’s official non-manufacturing PMI rose to 41.9 in April from 48.4 in March, the Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.
Since the survey began in November 2005, both activity and new orders have declined at a second-sharpest rate, surpassed by those seen at the initial onset of the epidemic in February 2020, ”Kaixin said in a statement.
In the most recent five-day labor holiday, which ended on Thursday, Chinese travelers made 160 million trips, down 30.2% from a year earlier and equivalent to 66.8% of the vacations in 2019, according to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Wednesday.
As of Thursday, a sub-index gauge of export orders has fallen sharply since May 2020, while services sector employment has declined somewhat after being in a contraction zone for four consecutive months, Kaixin said.
Companies surveyed for the index saw a soft but still strong increase in average input costs in April, driven by spending on raw materials, higher fuel prices and measures to limit the spread of COVID, Caixin said.
Wang Zhe, a senior economist at Caixin Insight Group, said: “The new round of Covid-19 outbreaks has hit the service sector hard.
Entrepreneurs were confident that the Kovid outbreak would be brought under control, although some expressed concern that control measures would remain in place for too long, he added.