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UK service sector growth accelerates in October

Staff Writer |
The UK service sector expanded at the strongest pace in six months in October, survey data from IHS Markit showed Friday.

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The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers' Index rose unexpectedly to 55.6 in October from 53.6 in September. The reading was expected to drop to 53.3.

The expansion was supported by improved order books and resilient client demand in October.

However, data pointed to slower employment growth across the service sector, despite the rebound in business activity and incoming new work.

Input prices continued to increase notably in October but the overall input cost inflation eased to its lowest in over a year. Meanwhile, prices charged inflation continued to rise, reaching a six-month high.

The data point to the economy growing at a quarterly rate of 0.5%, representing an encouragingly solid start to the fourth quarter, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said.