China's services sector in September noted a slowdown in business growth to its lowest level in seven months. Caixin Media and IHS Markit reported that the PMI in this segment of the Chinese economy fell to 51.3 points from 52.1 points a month earlier. At the same time, new orders grew at the highest rate since the beginning of last year against the background of increased customer demand. Chinese service companies increased their operating costs to their highest level in a year amid higher labor, raw materials and fuel costs. Increased competition has prevented them from significantly raising the prices of their services. In September, new export orders increased for the third month in a row. However, their volume, taking into account seasonal adjustments, grew at a slower pace than in July. Companies have increased their jobs at the fastest pace since the beginning of 2017. The composite PMI index, which measures activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, was at its highest in five months at 51.9 points, rising from 51.6 points in August.