TOKYO -- The Nikkei Japan Services Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, sagged to 51.7 in May from 53.1 in April, reflecting a slower inflow of new work in the month.
A reading above 50 signals an improvement, while one below 50 points to a contraction in activity.
"The Japanese service sector continued along an expansionary path during May; however the pace of growth failed to improve on April’s six-month high, rising to only a mild extent," said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
"There were worrying signs of deteriorating demand conditions, with new sales increasing at the softest rate in 20 months," Hayes added.
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