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Service sector firms in demand

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The closely watched survey from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) revealed that demand flew up at its fastest pace in November since September 2007 – the fourth monthly increase in a row.

Meanwhile, the headline index, depicting overall growth in the market, fell to 56.6 compared to 56.9 last month. The figure was against analysts’ expectations of slight increase.

On the CIPS scale a result higher than 50 denotes growth and the service sector has been beating that figure since May. It’s a welcome sign for the economy ahead of the pre-Budget report on 9 December.

David Noble, chief executive of CIPS, said: “The services sector is continuing to grow but at a steady rather than spectacular rate.”

It was not all good news, however. A separate CIPS study also published today revealed that activity in the construction industry had declined for the twenty-first month in a row.

“In contrast to the more fragile construction and manufacturing sectors, the UK services industry has shown growth for seven months now, which looked very unlikely in the dark days at the start of the year,” Noble added.

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