Nikkei Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 48.5 in November from 51.7 in October, lowest since August.
The slowdown in service sector growth was offset by the robust performance of manufacturing, where the expansion reached its second-fastest level in more than two decades in November.
Bolstered by the improvement in the service sector, the Caixin China Composite Output Index, which covers manufacturing and service companies, rebounded to 51.6 from October's 16-month low of 51.
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The PMI scaled its highest level since April 2011 and was comfortably above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. The reading came in weaker than a flash estimate of 54.9, which had shown a slight pickup in momentum.
Service sector companies reported an uptick in business and consumer spending in the November PMI survey, although some firms noted that stretched budgets and uncertainty as a effect of Brexit had acted as a brake on growth. That said, the rate of decline was modest.
"That said, cost pressures further intensified at service firms (fastest inflation since October 2013), which could constrain output growth in the near term and reduce any central bank appetite to reduce interest rates", Dodhia said.
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"Business as a whole in the euro zone has so far been largely unaffected by political uncertainty in many countries, notably Germany and Spain, once again defying widespread expectations that growth would slow", said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at the London-based company.
Inflationary pressure is also ratcheting up: the increase in input costs faced by service providers was the highest since May while the subindex of prices charged was the highest since July 2015, although the pace of the upturns in November from the previous month remained mild. "The survey data are so far consistent with the economy growing at a quarterly rate of 0.45 per cent in the closing months of 2017".
Still, for now, he said the survey data indicates a "sufficient degree of optimism in pockets of the economy, notably financial services, tourism, manufacturing and house building".
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