Growth in China’s service sector lost momentum at the start of 2017 as new orders increased at a slower pace than that in December 2016. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index fell to 53.1 in January from December’s 17-month high of 53.4. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below that points to contraction. New service business continued to rise rapidly, but the rate of expansion declined from that seen at the end of 2016, according to the survey, which is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 400 companies. The service sector data came after figures released on Friday showed the Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 51.0 last month, down from 51.9 in December, mainly on weakened growth in domestic demand.