LONDON — Britain’s services sector, which accounts for more than 75% of the country’s GDP, slowed down in the month of August, falling to an 11-month low, according to the latest PMI survey from IHS Markit.
That completes a hat-trick of worse than expected PMI data for the UK in the last week, after both manufacturing and construction came in below forecasts on Friday and Monday respectively.
The services sector — which includes everything from banking to waiting tables — drew a reading of 53.2 in the month, down from the previous 53.8 score in July, and lower than the forecast of 53.5 provided before the release.
“UK service providers recorded solid rises in business activity and incoming new work during August, but rates of growth eased since July and remained notably weaker than seen on average in the first half of 2017,” IHS Markit said in a statement.
“Survey respondents noted that subdued client demand and heightened uncertainty about the domestic economic outlook had weighed on business activity growth in August.”
The purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from IHS Markit are given as a number between 0 and 100.
Anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means a contraction in activity — so the higher the number is, the better things look for the UK.
Here’s the chart:
“A slowdown month as the services sector comes off the boil, challenged by a general unwillingness to spend and invest, alongside fragility in confidence amongst consumers as a result of Brexit,” Duncan Brock, the director of customer relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, which helps compile IHS Markit’s survey, said.
On Friday last week, the UK’s manufacturing sector
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