Slight drop for services as UK growth stays slow
The UK's powerhouse services sector saw activity dip slightly last month as the economy continued growing at a solid but still "unexciting" pace, according to a new report.
The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index survey showed a reading of 55.5 in December - falling slightly from 55.9 in November, but still above the long-run trend of 55.2.
The services sector accounts for three-quarters of the UK economy, and a reading above 50 signals expansion.
Companies said growth in the sector - which includes everything from shops to restaurants and estate agents - was boosted by a strong increase in new business gains in December, supported by successful marketing campaigns.
The report added that the volume of outstanding business increased at the sharpest rate since August, albeit still moderately.
Meanwhile, figures also showed a pick-up in construction after a seven-month low.