2020.10.2312:01:00UTC+00UK Private Sector Growth Moderates In October

The UK private sector growth moderated in October reflecting weaker contribution from the service economy due to tighter restrictions across the hospitality sector and the impact of local lockdowns on general consumer spending, flash survey results from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The flash IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply composite output index declined more-than-expected to 52.9 in October from 56.5 in September. The score was forecast to fall to 55.6.

The latest reading pointed to the weakest rise in private sector output since a return to growth was first signaled in July.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index fell notably to 52.3 in October from 56.1 a month ago. The score was forecast to drop moderately to 55.0.

Similarly, the manufacturing PMI came in at 53.3 versus 54.1 in the previous month. The reading was forecast to drop to 53.1.

James Smith, an ING economist said the October PMIs are the latest indicator to suggest the UK's economic rebound is running out of steam. Monthly GDP is expected to contract this month and that makes further Bank of England stimulus highly likely in November, the economist said.

Duncan Brock, Group Director at CIPS, said "Fears over inherent weaknesses in the UK economy materialised this month with a sudden fall in the overall index showing a sharp drop in new orders and a continuing erosion of employment opportunities."

"With more lockdowns, Brexit within touching distance and new government support at weaker levels than when the pandemic hit, it is clear businesses will have figure out their own survival tactics as the economy heads back towards square one."

The survey showed that total new business volumes across the UK private sector decreased in October, ending a three-month period of expansion.

October data showed a steep fall in employment numbers, with another month of deep job cuts signaled in both the manufacturing and service sectors.

Business expectations for the next twelve months eased again in October and the degree of confidence was the lowest since May.

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