The UK's service sector has improved in May, as Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose from 52.9 to 54.9. Economists had expected a rise to just 53.1. The pound was up against the dollar on the news.
A January 2012 high, the figure implies that the service sector is expanding more rapidly than thought. This completes a trio of PMI beats for the UK's manufacturing, construction and service sectors.