Growth in the UK’s services sector, which makes up the vast majority of the economy, stalled in January as uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to mount.
IHS Markit/CIPS’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey showed a result of 50.1, down from 51.2 in December. Any figure above 50 indicates growth, meaning there was absolutely minimal growth in January.
Last week, IHS Markit/CIPS found that manufacturers were stockpiling raw materials in preparation for Brexit as the PMI for the sector dropped to its lowest level since July 2016.
Chris Williamson, from IHS Market, said: “Growth ground almost to a halt in January, matching similar disappointing news in the manufacturing and construction sectors.
“The last three months have seen the economy slip into its weakest growth spell for six years and indicate that GDP likely stagnated at the start of 2019 after eking out modest growth of just 0.1% in the fourth quarter.
“The survey results indicate that companies are becoming increasingly risk averse and eager to reduce overheads in the face of weakened customer demand and rising political uncertainty.
“Such worries were in turn most commonly linked to heightened Brexit anxiety, though wider global political and economic factors were also seen to have been taking their toll on demand.”