Service sector jump dispels UK growth worries

Chris Papadopoullos
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THE UK’s service sector rebounded in November, easing fears of a slowdown in the UK economy, a set of data released yesterday shows.

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) – a survey of private sector firms – rose to 58.6 in November from 56.2 in October, data released by Markit show. A score above 50 signifies growth.

The November figure shows growth in the services sector rising at a faster rate, which bodes well for the UK economy as it makes up 78 per cent of GDP.

Service sector firms reported increased growth in new business while jobs growth remained robust.

“Faster growth of services activity brings welcome news that fears of a potentially sharp slowdown in the economy look overplayed,” said economist Chris Williamson from Markit.

The UK’s strong service sector expansion comes despite worsening economic conditions in the neighbouring Eurozone, where composite PMI slumped to 51.1 in November from October’s 52.1, Markit figures show.

The composite PMI uses data from the services, manufacturing and construction sector and marks a 16-month low.

Part of the Eurozone’s growth problem comes from France and Germany – the Eurozone’s two largest econ­omies.

PMIs for the service sectors of Germany and France both dropped in November, registering 52.1 and 47.9 respectively from 54.4 and 48.3.

Other sets of data released by official European statistics office Eurostat show retail trade volumes remain two per cent below 2010 levels.

Volumes grew 0.4 per cent in the October, but this rebound failed to make up for a 1.2 per cent decline the month before.

However, retail trade volumes are up 1.4 per cent year-on-year.

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