Growth in Britain’s dominant services industry slowed slightly in December, suggesting the economy expanded only modestly ahead of a new year in which it faces significant risks, a closely watched survey showed on Wednesday.
British economic growth slid to its joint-weakest in nearly three years in the three months to September, and financial data company Markit said its December survey of purchasing managers pointed to only a marginally faster expansion in late 2015.
The Markit/CIPS UK services purchasing managers’ index edged down to 55.5 last month from 55.9 in November, broadly in line with economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll, while a broader composite measure dipped to a three-month low.
Markit lowered its estimate of fourth-quarter GDP growth to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent a month ago, which compares with a sub-par 0.4 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2015.
“The relapse in the services PMI adds to evidence showing the recovery lost further momentum towards the end of 2015,” Pantheon Macroeconomics chief UK economist Samuel Tombs said.