Election jitters and consumer squeeze hit UK services, PMI shows

Markit's eurozone PMI services business activity index nudged down to 56.3 in May from 56.4 the month before, but was a touch above the flash estimate of 56.2.

Markit's composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks the manufacturing and services that account for more than two-thirds of the economy, rose to 57.4 from 56.7 in April.

Fitting with that view, the group said that new orders grew at a faster pace, while order backlogs also increased.

Activity in India's services industry accelerated in May as domestic and foreign orders rose, prompting firms to create jobs at the fastest pace in almost four years, a private business survey showed on Monday.

Indian manufacturing activity expanded for a fourth consecutive month in April, helped by stronger growth in new orders although rises in output and employment slowed, .

Service providers took on extra staff in May in order to cope with greater workloads.

That rate of growth would still be an improvement from the 0.2pc recorded in the first quarter of the year.

The 12-month business outlook among the mostly small and medium-sized services providers in the survey also rose from a five-month low in April. In contrast, goods producers were at their most upbeat since last November. That said, worries around an increasingly competitive environment weighed on confidence and optimism was at a three-month low. The rate of inflation was, however, negligible relative to the long-run series average.

Spain's service sector expansion remained at elevated level in May despite a slight moderation, survey results from IHS Markit showed Monday.

Competition pressures were strong and there was anecdotal evidence that uncertainty surrounding the General Election had an impact in curbing growth in new business.

Companies also reported robust demand from clients last month, which led new orders to increase at the quickest rate seen this year.

  • Zachary Reyes