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Financial News: UK Service Sector Growth Weakest In 10 Months

UK Service Sector Growth Weakest In 10 Months

01/06/2022 - 04:54:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK service sector expanded at the slowest pace in ten months in December as the Omicron variant led to a steep fall in spending on face-to-face consumer services, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 53.6 in December from 58.5 in November. However, the score was above the flash 53.2.

Moreover, the reading remained comfortably above the neutral 50.0 threshold, which extended the current phase of output expansion to 10 months.

The survey data signaled a severe loss of momentum for new orders in December due to the heightened uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Moreover, export orders declined for the first time in six months.

Higher prices for energy, fuel, transport and raw materials led to another sharp increase in average cost burdens. But the rate of input price inflation eased to the slowest in three months.

Similarly, average prices charged by service sector companies increased rapidly in December but the speed of inflation decelerated for the first time since August.

Further, strong employment growth was maintained across the service economy at the end of 2021. Robust job creation reflected upbeat business activity expectations for the year ahead.

There was a marked slowdown in the overall private sector growth in December as weaker momentum in the service economy more than offset a quicker pace of recovery among manufacturing companies.

At 53.6, down from 57.6 in November, the composite output index registered above the 50.0 neutral threshold for the tenth consecutive month. The flash score was 53.2.

For the first time since May, service sector growth failed to outpace that seen among manufacturing companies.

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