The composite PMI reading for the month was also downbeat: it was 51.2, the lowest since April, compared to 52.9 in August which was the highest in 19 months.
Service providers raised their staffing levels in September, offsetting the fall observed in August.
Supporting the overall improvement in operating conditions was a marked increase in new orders. Moreover, the rate of expansion was the quickest since November 2014.
“However, client demand failed to show any signs of meaningful improvement, with total new work stagnating for the second month in a row, while new export business rose only slightly”.
“Looking ahead, with the Expectations index having ticked up modestly in September, we would anticipate further encouraging Services PMI readings into the New Year”, Philip O’Sullivan, Chief Economist at Investec Ireland said.
An official PMI covering just the manufacturing sector, released last Thursday (Oct 1), had showed a further contraction in Singapore factory activity.
According to the Markit report for September, “Weaker increases in new business inflows and a cautious approach to costs reportedly led Indian manufacturers to shed jobs in September”.
Still, the steady loss of momentum in developing and emerging countries in recent months leaves the U.S.as the lone bright spot in the global economy and will raise questions about whether its central bank should risk raising interest rates this year for the first time in nearly a decade.