British service sector activity dropped in November

British service sector activity in November dropped into contraction territory amid domestic political uncertainty, according to a survey published Wednesday by IHS Markit/CIPS, a London-based global information provider.

IHS Markit/CIPS statistics showed that the seasonally adjusted service Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 49.3 in November, down from 50.0 in October, slipping below the 50.0 no-change benchmark.

“Domestic political uncertainty once again led to cautious business and consumer spending,” said the survey.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Composite Output Index also hit 49.3 in November, signaling a reduction in private sector output, the joint-lowest figure since July 2016.

Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said: “November’s PMI surveys collectively suggest that the UK economy is staggering through the final quarter of 2019, with service sector output falling back into decline after a brief period of stabilization.”

“Lower manufacturing production alongside an absence of growth in the service economy means that the IHS Markit/ CIPS Composite Output Index is consistent with UK GDP declining at a quarterly rate of around 0.1 percent,” Moore added.

Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, said: “As Brexit nerves continued to affect domestic client decision-making, a veil of silence also descended over European clients in particular who were reluctant to commit until there is more clarity in the UK’s future direction.”