China's April official services PMI edges up to 54.8

BEIJING - Growth in China's services sector quickened slightly in April as the purchasing manufacturing index (PMI) for the industry edged up to 54.8 last month, government data showed on Saturday.

That compares with a reading of 54.5 in March, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. A reading above 50 in PMI surveys indicates growth on a monthly basis, while an outcome below the threshold points to a contraction in activity.

The mild improvement in the services sector mirrors a separate PMI survey out on Thursday that showed growth in China's factories picking up slightly last month. But the PMI poll of Chinese factories was marred by a sharp fall in export orders, clouding the outlook for a stumbling economy.