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UK Services PMI Falls to 28-Month Low as Brexit Concerns Intensify

Economic IndicatorsDec 05, 2018 04:30AM ET
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Investing.com - Activity in the UK service sector unexpectedly slowed last month, falling to a 28-month low, while business confidence fell to the lowest levels since the Brexit referendum.

The UK services purchasing managers’ index fell to 50.4 in November from 52.2 the previous month. It was the weakest reading since July 2016, just after the Brexit vote and was well short of forecasts of 52.2.

Business activity and incoming new work both expanded at the weakest rates for almost two-and-a-half years, the report said.

“A sharp deterioration in service sector growth leaves the economy flatlining in November as Brexit concerns intensified. Measured across services, manufacturing and construction, the survey results suggest that the pace of economic growth has stalled,” IHS Markit chief economist Chris Williamson warned.

“Both the slowdown in current business activity and the deterioration in business optimism were primarily caused by an intensification of anxieties over Brexit. Uncertainty in relation to the withdrawal agreement and the possibility of no deal was often reported to have caused companies and customers to cancel or postpone spending and investment decisions,” he said.

Williamson further noted that overall UK economic growth was currently slated to be just 0.1% in the fourth quarter and suggested that clarity over Brexit arrangements was “urgently needed” to avoid a downturn.

UK Services PMI Falls to 28-Month Low as Brexit Concerns Intensify
 

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