Investing.com - Service sector activity in the U.K. expanded at the slowest pace in eight months in February, dampening optimism over the country’s economic outlook, industry data showed on Wednesday.
In a report, market research group Markit said the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Services Purchasing Managers Index inched down to 58.2 last month from a reading of 58.3 in January. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 58.0 in February.
On the index, a level above 50.0 indicates expansion in the industry, below 50.0 indicates contraction.
Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at survey compilers Markit said, “Alongside vibrant growth in manufacturing and construction, the upbeat picture of the services economy points to the country enjoying another quarter of robust economic growth of approximately 0.7%.”
Following the release of that data, the pound added to gains against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.16% to trade at 1.6691, compared to 1.6678 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were mildly lower. London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.35%, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.1%, France''s CAC 40 dipped 0.2%, while Germany''s DAX slumped 0.15%.
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