UK Service Sector Growth Moderates In November

UK Service Sector Growth Moderates In November

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.1 in November from 50.8 in October.

"Despite the weaker service sector expansion, the latest survey data indicates that the economy is on course to enjoy robust growth in the fourth quarter", said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

"Heading into 2018, the big questions will be how long this growth spurt can be sustained, and whether price pressures will rise", Williamson said, adding that data suggest "inflationary pressures will pick up next year".

Growth in the UK's dominant sector missed expectations in November, a closely-watched index has shown.

"Panellists widely blamed the deterioration in business performance to the goods and service tax (GST)".

On the other side, manufacturing orders grew at the fastest rate since October 2016.

Slowdown in business activity during the month of November has led to contraction of India's Services PMI during the same period.

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Despite unfavourable demand conditions, service providers continued to add to their workforce numbers.

It was a brighter picture for factory employment in November, as manufacturers raised their staffing levels at the fastest pace since September 2012 in response to stronger growth in new orders.

"We are surprised with the sudden dip in services activity in November, especially given that manufacturing firms, which face similar issues, reported higher activity".

Reflecting greater cost burdens, service providers increased their average selling prices in November.

Bolstered by the improvement in the service sector, the Caixin China Composite Output Index, which covers manufacturing and service companies, rebounded to 51.6 from October's 16-month low of 51.

The snapshot of the largest sector in the economy will worry consumers already caught by weak wage growth and rising inflation. Business underperformance emanated from July's Goods and Services Tax (GST) which contributed to sluggish demand and lower customer turnout, according to anecdotal evidence.

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