Business leaders have blamed the uncertainty created by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union for the slowest pace of output growth in the services sector for almost a year. Financial data provider Markit said Brexit uncertainty and higher import costs arising from the slump in the pound were behind the stumbling performance of the UK’s largest business sector last month. In the first half of the year the services sector, which accounts for almost 80% of economic activity, kept the UK from slipping back into recession. But a decline in real wages growth after a spike in inflation and the reluctance of households to accumulate debt at the pace seen in the first half of 2017 appeared to have hit the demand for services. Markit said its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector fell to 53.2 points in August from 53.8 the previous month amid signs that “Brexit-related uncertainty continued to undermine business confidence”. Anything above 50 indicates expansion. Without a strong rebound over the next few months, analysts said the UK could be heading for another quarter of 0.3% GDP growth and an annual figure that struggles to get above 1%. The survey followed news of a… Read full this story
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