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UK Service Sector Growth Improves In July

(RTTNews) - The UK service sector growth improved in July on renewed increase in new work, data from IHS Markit showed Monday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.4 in July from 50.2 in June. The reading was forecast to rise marginally to 50.5.

The sector expanded for the fourth straight month with the latest growth fastest in nine months.

There was a solid rebound in new work in July. The pace of new work growth was the strongest since September 2018 as the weaker currency helped to improve foreign demand.

At the same time, the rate of job creation eased from the previous month largely due to a lack of pressure on business capacity.

Average cost burdens increased with the rate of input price inflation unchanged since June. Meanwhile, prices charged by service sector firms increased at only a moderate pace.

Business optimism towards the year-ahead outlook eased for the second month running and reached its lowest level since March.

Data showed that the all sector output index picked up to 50.3 in July from 49.2 in June, signaling a fractional expansion of private sector business activity.

"The latest PMI numbers are indicative of the economy stagnating at the start of the third quarter after indicating a 0.1% decline in the second quarter," Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.
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