Activity in the UK’s services sector fell for the first time in two years in December, a survey has suggested, raising fears of yet another recession.
The PMI services index from Markit/CIPS fell to 48.9 in December, down from 50.2 in November. Any score below 50 indicates the sector is shrinking.
Markit blamed the contraction on a fall in new business.
It said the numbers suggested the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the final three months of 2012.
The UK emerged from a double dip recession last summer with growth of 1% in the three months to September.
“The first fall in service sector activity for two years raises the likelihood that the UK economy is sliding back into recession,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
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