Service sector activity hits 28-month low


Activity in the UK service industry slowed in November and hit its lowest level since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum according to the latest survey by Markit Economics.

The index fell to 50.4 in November, down from 52.2 in the previous month (Any figure above 50 indicates expansion).

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey says last month’s figure shows the UK economy is flatlining. He adds: “Unless demand revives, a slide into economic decline at the turn of the year is a distinct possibility.”

Williamson links the slowdown in current business activity and the deterioration in business optimism to an intensification of anxieties over Brexit. “Clarity in relation to Brexit arrangements is therefore urgently needed to help ensure the current stalling of growth does not translate into a downturn,” he added.

Respondents to the survey said that Brexit uncertainty had led to their clients delaying investment decisions alongside “subdued business and consumer spending”.