UK services PMI down slightly to 58.6; labor market strengthens

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

London, United Kingdom (4E) – UK purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the services sector fell slightly to 58.6 in May from 58.7 in the previous month, but surpassed market estimates of 58.2, according to data from Markit released Wednesday.

The services sector account for bulk of the British economy, contributing about three quarters of total output, according to Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Business activity in the services sector continued to rise in May, driven by another strong gain in volumes of incoming new work, according to the London-based survey compiler.

Wednesday’s result also showed employment showed posted its strongest increase for seven months and the tied for the sharpest increase for 17 years as additional workers were hired to help deal with growing sales and work outstanding, according to Markit.

Along with recent indicators that reflect positive manufacturing and construction reports, the latest data suggests that the economy is on course to expand by 0.8 percent again in the second quarter.

In May, the manufacturing PMI stood at 57 and construction PMI at 60, far above the 50 level, according to data published earlier this week.

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