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Financial News: UK Service Sector Flatlines Amid Brexit Uncertainty

UK Service Sector Flatlines Amid Brexit Uncertainty

11/05/2019 - 04:50:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK service sector showed no change in output in October, survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.0 in October from 49.5 in September. This was above the forecast of 49.8. However, the reading was among the lowest seen in the past ten-and-a-half years.

Although the score signaled a slight improvement on September's contraction, business levels were supported by existing contracts as the volume of new work declined further. This led to more job losses in the sector, the survey showed.

The 12-month outlook for service sector activity improved to a three-month high as a number of firms expected Brexit to be resolved early next year.

The composite output index climbed to 49.5 in October from 48.8 in September. However, a score below 50 indicates contraction.

"The October reading is historically consistent with GDP declining at a quarterly rate of 0.1%, similar to the pace of contraction in GDP signaled by the surveys in the third quarter," Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

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