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Britain's services output growth dips in January

Britain's services output growth dips in January

"The pace of United Kingdom economic growth slowed sharply at the start of the year as January saw a triple whammy of weaker PMI surveys", said Chris Williamson of IHS Markit.

The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which mainly monitors small and medium-sized firms, rose to 54.7 last month, up from 53.9 in December.

The dominant services sector undershot expectations in January, confirming an impression of a slowing wider United Kingdom economy in early 2018.

Growth in China's service activity accelerated by the most in more than seven years in January, a Caixin survey showed Monday, in a further sign the world's second-largest economy has maintained momentum at the start of 2018.

The downbeat economic data comes ahead of Thursday's Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee vote, which is expected to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent.

"The composite PMI continues to signal a bullish outlook for GDP growth in the Eurozone", Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said in an email.

The services sector - which includes everything from banking to waiting tables - drew a reading of 53 in the month, down from the previous 54.2 in December.




"The Indian service sector remained in expansion mode in January, driven by a renewed increase in new business".

Britain's economy grew faster than expected at the end of 2017, and financial markets have put a 50-50 chance on a BoE rate hike in May.

Of the new work that businesses were able to attract in January, growth was chalked up to 'successful marketing campaigns, ' greater market shares and new services offerings.

Cost burdens from higher prices for fuel, insurance, transport and food, lifted input costs, but at their slowest pace since September 2016, suggesting inflationary pressures were beginning to ease.

Hiring continued at a robust pace, suggesting a positive pipeline of new projects and positive output expectations, Markit said.

The Nikkei IHS Markit report said last month saw business activity and employment accelerate since December.

"[The data] strengthen the case for the Bank to take a lengthy pause before raising interest rates again; we see the next hike coming in August".

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