At 50.7, HSBC's China Services PMI is 0.1 above its previous record low from August 2011. In contrast to the manufacturing side of the economy - which lost jobs at the fastest rate since March 2009 - the services side saw a modest rise in employment but, as HSBC notes, as part of efforts to boost sales, both manufacturers and service providers cut their selling prices in January at the strongest rate of discounting since June 2012. The backlog of work for service providers dropped for the first time since April 2013 and new order growth was the slowest in 7 months.
HSBC's Chief Economist noted: “The slower expansion of services activities in January reflected soft manufacturing growth and the impact of Beijing's latest measures to curb official extravagance." Need more graft and expensive watches stat!