UK business activity records sharpest fall since May

Business | 23 Nov 2020 10:27 pm

The UK economy has shrunk again this month as the latest wave of lockdown restrictions hit service sector companies, a new survey shows.

November has seen the sharpest fall in UK private sector output since May, according to the latest Flash UK Composite PMI report from IHS Markit and CIPS, The Guardian reports.

Although factories reported growth this month, this was more than wiped out by a new downturn in service sector activity, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sector where many businesses have been forced to temporarily close.

Markit explains: “Around 31 percent of the survey panel reported lower business activity in November, while only 21 percent signalled an expansion.

“Reduced output was almost exclusively attributed to greater restrictions on trade due to the coronaviru pandemic and heavily concentrated in consumer-facing parts of the service economy.''

This pulled the services PMI down to 45.8 for November, from 51.4 in October – below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction. That’s the fastest fall in activity since May.

Overall activity in the economy is also falling at the fastest rate in six months, the PMI survey shows. The Composite Output Index (manufacturing and services) dropped to 47.4 this month from 52.1 in October.'

That indicates that the economic recovery has faltered this quarter.

However, it’s not as severe a decline in the spring during the first lockdown, matching this morning’s news from the eurozone.-Photos: Sky News



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