[BEIJING] Growth in China's services industry cooled in August from the previous month, an official survey showed on Tuesday, adding to concerns that world's second-largest economy may be a risk of a sharper slowdown than earlier feared.
The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 53.4 from July's reading of 53.9, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
A reading above 50 points indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis, while one below that points to a contraction.
The services sector has accounted for the bigger part of China's economic output for at least two years, with its share rising to 48.2 per cent last year, compared with the 42.6 percent contribution from manufacturing and construction.
However, softening demand, tougher competition and tighter credit conditions are all challenging the sector, while a stock market crash in early summer is likely to dampen revenues for banks, brokerages and other financial instituations.