The HSBC/Markit Services Purchasing Managers'
Index (PMI) rose to 51.0 in February from January's 50.7, buoyed
by new orders, remaining above the 50 line that separates
expansion from contraction.
The rise tallied with the official non-manufacturing PMI,
released earlier in the week, which showed activity at a
three-month high, and contrasted with two surveys that showed
manufacturing activity slowed in the month.
"February data signalled stronger expansions of business
activity and new work at Chinese service-sector firms," HSBC/Markit
said in a statement.
"That said, the rates of growth remained subdued in the context
of historical data."
The data came as Premier Li Keqiang told China's annual
parliament session that expanding domestic demand will be a
major economic driver and an important structural adjustment as
the country pushes ahead with reforms to promote consumer-led
The PMI found that service-sector firms remained optimistic in
February, generally expecting business activity to be higher
than current levels in one year.
(Reporting by Jonathan Standing;
editing by John Mair)
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