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Economy Watch: Service-Sector Activity Slows a Bit, But Still Robust

Economy Watch: Service-Sector Activity Slows a Bit, But Still Robust

November has seen the highest pickup in Russia's service sector since January 2017 thanks to a surge in new orders and accelerating business activity, according to Markit Economics data.

Another report showed shoppers spent more of their budgets on the rising cost of food, while auto sales fell for the eighth month in a row in November.

Prime Minister Theresa May failed to clinch a deal on Monday to open talks on post-Brexit free trade with the European Union after a tentative deal with Dublin to keep EU rules in Northern Ireland angered her political allies in Belfast.

The firm's U.S. Composite Purchasing Managers' Output Index was 54.5, down from October's reading of 55.2.

The survey, which is compiled by IHS Markit, the data analytics provider, comes after the PMI report for manufacturing showed that last month factories lifted production at their...

The PMI scaled its highest level since April 2011 and was comfortably above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

"The euro zone enjoyed a bumper November, setting the scene for a buoyant end to the year", said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

Moreover, the rate of prices charged inflation was the second-fastest seen since the survey began in 1996.

The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade last month to help combat rising inflation, which is tipped to peak in the coming months.

The survey's findings suggest inflationary pressure remains in the sector, which accounts for nearly 80% of output in the United Kingdom economy.

That scenario has forced retailers and other firms to pass on higher import costs to their customers - hitting sales.

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