Britain's services sector just had its best month since last Summer

The British services sector is looking pretty good right now, and it just had its strongest rise in six months.

According to PMI data from Markit and the CIPS, the services sector hit 55.6 in January, an small uptick, from the last reading of 55.5. The numbers add to a solid picture of what’s going on in the UK economy.

Earlier this week, Markit’s data on UK manufacturing showed that the industry is performing very well. It came out with a score of 52.9, a jump of 0.8 on December’s figures.

PMI readings give an industry a score between 0-100, with anything above 50 signalling growth, and anything below showing a contraction.

Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist said:

The economy defied expectations and picked up speed in January, but cracks continue to appear in the country’s resilience to the various headwinds. The three PMI surveys for January collectively point to a slight upturn in the rate of economic growth, consistent with GDP rising at a quarterly rate of 0.6% in the first quarter, up from 0.5% in the fourth quarter, if current levels are sustained.

As long as the figure is over 50, there’s growth — and the jump is good news for UK services, which have been struggling a little in recent months. 55.6 in the PMI represents the best performance of the manufacturing sector in six months, thanks to growth in domestic orders.

Earlier on Wednesday, services data from the Eurozone disappointed, with Germany, France, and Italy all missing the forecasts of economists, following on from another weak set of data on Monday, when manufacturing across the continent missed expectations.

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