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China’s battered service industry shows growth signs

(ATF) China’s services industry, facing a long road to normality after the coronavirus crisis, is showing signs of a gradual recovery.

The production index of the sector climbed 1% in May, marking the first year-on-year increase this year and rebounding from a decline of 4.5% in April, according to data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Tuesday.

The sub-reading for information transmission, software and information technology services expanded 12.9% last month, while that for the financial and real estate sectors grew 5.2% and 7.1%, respectively, the NBS data showed.

Meanwhile, wholesale and retail sales, hospitality and catering, leasing and business services, also improved in in the period, with their sub-index declines narrowing 4.5 percentage points, 12 percentage points and 4.1 percentage points, respectively.

The service sector production index declined 7.7% in the first five months of 2020, with the slide narrowing 2.2 percentage points compared with the January-April period.

With the continuous resumption of production following a two-month lockdown that shrank China’s first-quarter economy for the first time in generations, the service industry is expected to see further recovery, said NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui.

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