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Services PMI falls to 6-month low in February

Services PMI falls to 6-month low in February

Russia's Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) continues to outperform rising to 56.5 in February from 55.1 in January, IHS Markit said in a report on March 5.

An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase in economic activity and below 50 an overall decrease.

The powerhouse services sector, which accounts for around 80% of United Kingdom economic growth, was bolstered by easing cost pressures and the fastest jump in new work since May previous year.

It follows disappointing February PMI readings for construction and manufacturing last week, but services account for nearly 80 per cent of output, meaning it is the most significant indicator of the three.

Sterling was up 0.1% against the United States dollar to $1.381 shortly after the announcement.

The data, compiled by IHS Markit, showed that the headline PMI rose from 50.2 in January to 50.7 in February, signalling a further improvement in the health of the sector.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, a forecaster that uses the model of Britain's Treasury to assess the economy, says the survey was "reasonably reassuring".

In February, manufacturers also faced accelerating inflation, pushing overall input prices to rise at their quickest pace in three and a half years.

"The PMI surveys so far collectively point to the economy growing by almost 0.4% in the first quarter to indicate that a resiliently steady pace of expansion has been maintained".

Business confidence remained robust, with the degree of optimism the second highest since July 2011 in the period.

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