The UK service sector expanded at a stronger pace in April although increased costs and the war in Ukraine combined to contain the pace of expansion, survey results from S&P Global showed on Thursday.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply final services Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 58.9 in April, which was above the flash score of 58.3 but down from 62.6 in March.
Input costs rose to the greatest extent in close to 26 years of data collection driven by increased fuel costs, with higher energy charges and wages. In turn, companies raised their own charges at a pace that was only fractionally below March’s record.
New orders growth slowed sharply to the weakest in 2022 so far. Meanwhile, new business from abroad was broadly unchanged for the second month running.
Despite facing substantial cost pressures, service providers continued to expand their staffing levels notably in response to rising new business.
The issues of rising living costs and the war in Ukraine dented confidence at the start of the second quarter, with sentiment dropping to the lowest in a year-and-a-half.
Duncan Brock, Group Director at the CIPS, said “Though the headline index remained in growth territory, the services sector is showing signs of going off the boil as the drip drip effects of the highest prices for 26 years impacted on orders and business mood.”
The composite output index dipped to 58.2 in April from 60.9 in March. The rate of growth remained sharp, but eased to a three-month low. The flash reading was 57.6.
Although the rate of expansion in services activity softened at the start of the second quarter, it remained much faster than that seen for manufacturing production.
Source: Read Full Article