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Financial News: UK Service Sector Growth Eases More Than Forecast

UK Service Sector Growth Eases More Than Forecast

06/05/2017 - 05:01:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK service sector activity growth eased more-than-expected in May to the weakest level in three months, survey data from IHS Markit and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Monday.

The Markit/CIPS services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 53.8 in May from 55.8 in April. Economists had expected the index to fall to 54.8.

However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The PMI remained above 50.0 for the tenth consecutive month in May, but the rate of growth was the slowest since February.

New business grew at the slowest pace in three months in May, partly due to short-term factors, particularly delays with decision making ahead of the election.

The rate of employment growth across the British service sector was little-changed since April. The latest modest increase was linked to new project starts and efforts to boost operating capacity.

On the price front, input price inflation eased to a eight-month low in May. Consequently, output prices increased at the weakest pace since November last year.

Looking ahead, service sector firms are relatively upbeat about their growth prospects.

"Though optimism for the future was slightly elevated compared to April, an overall weakening since the start of 2017 shows how vulnerable the sector can be under pressure as a new government waits in the wings," Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the CIPS, said.

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