By Jessica Fleetham
U.K. private sector activity in November contracted by the biggest amount since July 2016, according to provisional purchasing managers' surveys released by IHS Markit.
The flash U.K. PMI index on services sector activity fell to a 40-month low of 48.6 in November, from 50.0 in October. Manufacturing PMI fell to a two-month low of 48.3, from 49.6 in October.
This left the composite index at a 40-month low of 48.3, down from 50.0 in October, IHS Markit said. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in activity.
"Lower private sector output has now been recorded in two of the past three months, with the latest survey signaling the sharpest rate of decline since July 2016," IHS Markit said.
Survey respondents said activity had been hurt by "to a lack of clarity in relation to Brexit," with a "fresh injection of business uncertainty" from the forthcoming general election on December 12.
New orders fell at the fastest pace since July 2016, "as domestic and overseas clients, worn-out by continuing political indecision withdrew from the marketplace, reducing overall activity in the manufacturing and services sectors," said Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
IHS Markit said the data suggest the U.K. economy is on course for a 0.2% drop in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.
Write to Jessica Fleetham at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 22, 2019 05:13 ET (10:13 GMT)
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