UK Services Growth Slows, Pointing to Soft End to 2015

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.


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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Former Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary.

His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News.

Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.