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Financial News: UK Service Sector Growth Weakest In 15 Months

UK Service Sector Growth Weakest In 15 Months

06/07/2022 - 07:18:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK service sector grew at the slowest pace since early 2021 as the subdued confidence weighed on demand and the rising inflation squeezed margins in May, final survey results from S&P Global showed on Tuesday.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply final services Purchasing Managers' Index fell sharply to 53.4 in May from 58.9 in April. The flash reading was 51.8.

The index signaled the slowest rise in output volumes since the current period of expansion began 15 months ago. Moreover, the monthly loss of momentum was larger than any seen since the survey began in July 1996.

There was a further slowdown in new order growth across the service economy. The rate of new business expansion was the weakest since December 2021.

Despite a loss of momentum for output and new business growth in May, there was another robust increase in staffing numbers. A lack of spare capacity resulted in a moderate rise in backlogs of work.

On the price front, the survey showed that input prices grew at the steepest pace since the survey began in 1996. Nonetheless, service providers continued to cite considerable pressure on margins, largely due to rapid rises in energy bills and other purchasing costs.

Growth expectations for the year ahead dipped for the fourth month running to the lowest since October 2020 as service providers were worried about the cost of living crisis and the uncertain global economic outlook.

As softer rates of growth were seen in both manufacturing and services, the final composite output index fell notably to 53.1 in May from 58.2 in the previous month. However, the score was above the flash 51.8.

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