Services industry registers slightly improved performance

The UK’s services industry expanded at a faster rate in October than had been expected.

The Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) reported that its purchasing managers’ index for services climbed from 52.8 in September to 53.2 in October.

There had been forecasts of a fall to 52.5, but the rise marks the index’s highest level since June.

However, the encouraging data did not disguise the fact that service firms in general have dampened their predictions for growth in the coming months. The main reason for the pessimism is the impact of the cuts in government spending.

Paul Smith, a senior economist at Markit, said: “October’s survey suggests a modest improvement in service sector growth. The latest data suggest that the sector is set to make a below par contribution to GDP in the coming months.”

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