India Services PMI rises to 51.7 in January

After zooming to a five-year high in December at 54.7, the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index or PMI fell to 52.4 last month as the base effect wore off.

The reading was at the bottom end of a range of forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists and looked likely to widen the gap between Britain's slow-growing economy as it heads for Brexit and other countries gaining from a bounce-back in global growth.

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, examined the data's relevance to the Bank of England's current interest rate policy stance.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said: "The pace of United Kingdom economic growth slowed sharply at the start of the year as January saw a triple-whammy of weaker PMI surveys".

'All together, the PMI surveys point to the slowest pace of expansion since August 2016'. The PMI in January signaled that in the first quarter an economic growth of less than 0.3% could be seen.

Many services firms have been knocked hard by Brexit-fuelled import costs, as well as surging business rates, fuel prices and salaries after the launch of the national living wage.

British economy slows down sharply in January, which casts doubt on rising expectations among investors that the Bank of England may raise rates again in the coming months. The index stood at 50.9 in December 2016.

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The composite PMI in the Eurozone - which combines all the major sector's PMI surveys -rose to 58.8 in January from 58.1.in December, above the consensus and initial estimate, 58.6.

Hiring continued at a robust pace, suggesting a positive pipeline of new projects and positive output expectations, Markit said.

Business confidence was the highest since March 2017.

James Smith, a developed markets economist at ING, said the reading dampens prospects of an imminent interest rate hike. Nonetheless, competitive pressures ensured that the rate of inflation was marginal.

'That said, policymakers will take heart from the better recent news on wage growth, which is showing signs of life as skill shortages become more prevalent.

Kallum Pickering, senior United Kingdom economist at Berenberg, expects the BoE to raise interest rates again in May and November.

That had sparked a shift in expectations about United Kingdom interest rates, with investors raising bets on a hike as early as May.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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