Activity in Britain’s dominant services sector slowed more than expected last month as the worst snowfall in 50 years paralysed the country.
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 54.5 in January, from 56.8 the previous month. A mark above 50 signifies growth as opposed to contraction. Analysts had forecast a reading of 56.5. This is in sharp contrast to CIPS’s manufacturing figures released earlier this week, which showed that the sector grew at its fastest pace in 15 years last month.
David Noble, chief executive officer at CIPS, said: “This may be a temporary blip caused by one-off events rather than signs of a double-dip recession, but we can’t dismiss the possibility.
“The chaos caused by the snow hit this sector particularly hard, much more than manufacturing or construction, reducing the growth rates of activity and new business wins.”
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