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Financial News: UK Service Sector Moves Closer To Stabilization

UK Service Sector Moves Closer To Stabilization

01/05/2023 - 06:59:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK service sector moved closer to stabilization from the contraction zone in December despite challenging business environment and the cost of living crisis, a closely watched survey showed Thursday.

The final S&P Global/Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply services Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 49.9 from 48.8 in November. The flash reading was 50.0.

The score has been below the 50.0 no-change mark for the third month in a row. The survey has suggested that cost of living pressures and high inflation continued to depress consumption.

Domestic weakness depressed overall sales. By contrast, export business rose for the first time since August.

Although the upward pressures on prices continued, there were signs of slowing as the rate of inflation was the lowest in 15 months. Firms again suggested little option but to pass on increased costs wherever possible. Output prices increased at the slowest pace since the start of 2022.

There was no change in employment in December, thereby snapping a 21-month sequence of jobs growth. Although firms were more optimistic than in November, firms remained worried about the corrosive effects on consumption of high inflation.

The UK private sector contracted for the fifth consecutive month in December. With services registering a very fractional fall, the overall fall in private sector activity was only marginal.

The composite output index advanced to 49.0 from 48.2 a month ago. The reading was in line with the flash estimate.

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