Business volumes in the British service sector decreased at a markedly slower pace in the February quarter, data from a survey by the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) showed Tuesday.

The balance of business volume in the consumer services sub-sector dropped to -25 percent in the three months ended February from -41 percent in the preceding quarter, almost in line with the previous estimates.

"Although volumes of business activity continued to worsen across the UK services sector in the past quarter compared with the previous quarter, there are some tentative signs that conditions may be levelling out," CBI chief economic adviser Ian McCafferty said.

The outlook component of the survey showed that consumer services firms expect the balance of business volume to ease to -12 percent in the next quarter.

The survey balance for the value of business in the consumer services sector declined markedly to -19 percent in the latest quarter from -40 percent in the previous quarter.

At the same time, the balance of business volume in the business and professional services sector came in at -11 percent in the February quarter, which was far below -20 percent estimated earlier.

For the next quarter, the balance of business volume in the business and professional services division is expected to drop further to -6 percent, data showed.

"Business confidence remains fragile, and will continue to be so given the continuing uncertainty in the Eurozone. However, there are some signs that after the very sharp fall in confidence at the height of the crisis last autumn, sentiment is stabilising," McCafferty added.

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May 24 at 17:52 UTC

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