BEIJING--The Caixin China services purchasing managers index rose to 53.8 in July, compared with 51.8 in June, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said Wednesday, pointing to a recovery outside the nation's factory sector.
A reading above 50 indicates a month-to-month expansion while a level below that points to a contraction.
"The stronger rise in service sector activity was supported by a further increase in new business volumes in July. Furthermore, the rate of new order growth accelerated to a solid pace that was the second-fastest in eight months," Caixin and Markit said in a statement.
"Anecdotal evidence suggested that stronger underlying client demand and new customer wins led to increased new work at service providers," they said, adding that employment in the nation's service sector continued to increase in July.
The Caixin China Services PMI, previously known as the HSBC Services PMI, is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives at more than 400 private service-sector companies.
China's official nonmanufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which also includes the construction sector, rose to 53.9 in July from 53.8 in June, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Saturday.
Services have held up better than the manufacturing sector amid slower growth in the economy overall. On Monday, Caixin said its manufacturing PMI slumped to a two-year low of 47.8 in July, well in contraction territory and down from the June level of 49.4.
--Grace Zhu contributed to this article.