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Service sector slide dents growth hopes

Coins - Sterling continued to slide against the dollar - SantanderCB

Sterling continued its slide against the dollar yesterday as a survey showed an unexpected slowdown in the UK's service sector. In a setback for prospects of strong third-quarter growth, the Markit/CIPS service purchasing managers' survey fell to 55.6 in August, the slowest pace of expansion in over two years. All three PMI surveys - construction, manufacturing and services - have underperformed market expectations this week, and Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said the figures suggested overall economic growth would slow to 0.5% in the third quarter of the year, down from 0.7%. 'Even after allowing for the usual seasonal lull in business activity, August saw an unexpectedly sharp slowing in the pace of UK economic growth, which will add to current worries among dovish policymakers at the Bank of England,' he said.

 

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