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UK Service Sector Growth Weakest In 16 Months

British service sector activity expanded at the slowest pace in nearly one-and-a-half years in January, survey data from IHS Markit showed Monday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers' Index, dropped more-than-expected to 53.0 in January from 54.2 in December. It was forecast to fall to 54.0.

However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Growth was reportedly curtailed by the loss of existing clients and lingering concerns surrounding the UK's exit from the EU.

New orders increased at a slightly quicker pace in January, but the rate of growth weaker than 2017 average.

Job creation nonetheless picked up as companies retained positive expectations surrounding the outlook.

On the price front, input price inflation remained sharp in January, but the rise in costs was the smallest since September 2016. The rate of charge inflation softened to a four-month low.

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