UK service sector activity growth slows in September

Billy Ehrenberg
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One of the pillars of the recovery has slipped a millimetre. (Source: Getty)

One of the pillars of the recovery has slipped a little.

The UK suffered a dip in service sector activity growth this September, with the closely watched Markit Economics purchasing manager's index (PMI) falling to 58.7 from 60.5 in August.

The downward move was of a greater magnitude than many had predicted, with the consensus being that 59.1 would be the score. The composite score was also down, from 59.7 to 58.1.

Analysts from Berenberg Economics saw reason for optimism, pointing out that the reading was still strong and that "confidence in [the] outlook hit [a] three-month high".

Any reading above 50 indicates growth, but the rate of expansion slowing will cause a slight furrowing of brows, despite the fact that a drop was expected.

Data from the Eurozone was subdued. The composite reading was a sluggish 52, the lowest it has been in 10 months.

Both output and new order growth stuttered in the prevailing wind of economic discontent in the euro area.

Yesterday in a press conference, European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi outlined the asset-backed security purchasing programme he hopes will drag the single currency bloc from its malaise.

Should the buying of non-sovereign bonds fail, some analysts believe only full-blow quantitative easing will be left to Draghi.

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