China’s services activity contracted at a slower pace in March than the previous month as the coronavirus outbreak eased, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed on Friday.
The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the services sector, rose to 43 in March from a record low of 26.5 in the previous month. The March reading marked the second lowest level since the survey began in 2005. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a figure below that points to a contraction.
“Services activity remained under huge pressure and continued to shrink markedly amid restrictions to contain the coronavirus epidemic,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group Ltd., a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group.
The measure for outstanding business at services enterprises plunged into contractionary territory in March from a record high level in February due to the slump in new work. The rate of reduction in backlogs of work last month was the steepest since September 2015.