Service sector

China’s service sector continues recovery amid resurgence of COVID-19 – Xinhua

Baristas prepare coffee at a cafe in Shanghai, east China, June 29, 2022. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — China’s service sector, a key driver of its economic growth, maintained recovery momentum in July despite a resurgence of sporadic COVID-19 cases and a weak property market.

The services production index rose 0.6% year-on-year last month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In the first seven months, the index fell 0.3% year-on-year, shrinking 0.1 percentage point from that of the first six months.

Overall, the recovery trend of the service sector remains unchanged, said Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the BES.

Modern service industries have seen good growth momentum, according to Fu. Information transmission, software and information technology services, and financial intermediation services performed strongly, with their indices up 10.3% and 4.9% respectively year-on-year in July. .

Several industries remained in the high expansion range of 55% and above, including rail and air transport, accommodation, restaurants and culture, sports and entertainment, he said.

Adding to evidence of a recovery in the services sector, the index of business activities in the sector, boosted by pro-growth policies, stood at 52.8 in July, according to the NBS.

The index of business activity expectations in the services sector came in at 58.8 last month, which is in the high expansion range and reflects renewed confidence among most businesses in the world. sector.

Investment in the services sector has also picked up. In July, capital investment in high-tech services rose 14.3% year-on-year, according to BES data.

Investments in science and technology transformation services and research, development and design services increased by 16.2% and 15.5% respectively.

Fu also noted that the downward trend in the real estate sector had put a damper on the services sector, which caused the July services production index to drop by 1.7 percentage points.

Meanwhile, reduced business activity in services like conventions and exhibitions, due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases last month, also weighed on the index, he said.

The recent and frequent international instabilities and the resurgence of the sporadic domestic virus have both posed new challenges for the development of the service sector, Fu said.

But the spokesperson expressed optimism about the recovery momentum in the services sector.

While stressing the support of modern service industries and the stable expectations of most service companies, Fu said transportation and travel services have also improved as targeted measures to contain the epidemic have allowed the time for goods to move at a faster pace and for people to get out and travel. After.

With the transformation of the service industry and policies aimed at stabilizing growth and promoting consumption, there are favorable conditions for the service sector to sustain a healthy recovery, he said.