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UK Private Sector Growth Moderates In April

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The UK private sector growth moderated to a three-month low in April, reflecting the slowest growth in new orders so far this year, flash survey results from S&P Global showed Friday.

The S&P Global/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply flash composite output index fell more-than-expected to 57.6 in April from 60.9 a month ago. The reading was seen at 59.7.

Nonetheless, a reading above 50.0 indicates expansion in the sector.

The services Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 58.3 in April, down from 62.6 in March and below the forecast of 60.0.

The manufacturing PMI also dropped in April, to 55.3 from 55.2 a month ago. The reading was forecast to rise to 59.0.

The cost of living crisis and economic uncertainty arising from the war in Ukraine had impacted client demand, the survey showed.

The survey showed that service providers experienced a considerable loss of momentum as the pass-through of escalating costs offset the boost to consumer spending from the ending of COVID-19 restrictions.

Manufacturers also faced a headwind to order books from rising output charges, with the latest increase in factory gate prices by far the fastest on record, the survey showed.

Private sector employment increased in April but the rate of job creation slipped to a 12-month low.

Input price inflation was the second fastest since the index began in January 1998. Escalating energy, fuel and raw material costs contributed to rises in average prices charged.

Looking ahead, private sector businesses were much less confident about the growth outlook than that seen in March.

The overall degree of business optimism dropped for the third month running in April and was the lowest since October 2020.

Although the current pace of growth remains relatively robust, firms are taking a more cautious approach to hiring and spending as demands cools and the outlook becomes gloomier, to suggest that the slowdown in the economy has further to run, said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global, said.

Rebound In Services Activity Lifts Eurozone Private Sector Growth

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