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UK Services Growth Strongest In 4 Months

British service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in February, survey data from IHS Markit showed Monday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers' Index, rose to 54.5 in February from 53.0 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The overall growth in February was driven by the sharpest rise in new work since May 2017, helped by the improving global economic backdrop.

Employment growth accelerated to a five-month high in February, driven by stronger than-expected sales growth and subsequent efforts to expand business capacity.

On the price front, input price inflation eased to its lowest since August 2016, despite higher staff salaries and transport costs. As a result, selling prices rose at the weakest rate for six months.

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