China's services industry saw growth cool off in May.
The closely watched Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index for the sector fell to 55.1.
That was down from April's 56.3, albeit still well above the 50-point mark that signifies rising activity.
The survey attributed the slowdown in part to softer demand from overseas.
A gauge of export orders slipped into contraction.
Mounting inflationary pressure is the other issue.
Input costs rose at a sharper rate in May, with reports of rising costs for raw materials, energy, staff and transport.
Firms raised their selling prices for a tenth straight month as a result, but not enough to keep up with input costs.
A Caixin economist called the inflationary pressure "enormous".