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The UK's services sector remained "solid" in December, according to a closely watched survey, despite growth falling slightly.

The Markit/CIPS service sector purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell from 55.9 in November to 55.5 to end 2015. Any figure above 50 indicates growth.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: "The services sector remained the key driver of the UK's economic upturn in December, helping to offset the recent weakness seen in manufacturing and putting the economy on the starting block for another year of 2 to 2.5% growth in 2016."

Earlier this week, Markit said that the manufacturing sector grew by its slowest pace for three months in December. However, construction growth rebounded in December.

Markit said the service sector PMI suggested that overall economic growth in the fourth quarter would be 0.5%, having previously forecast growth of 0.6%.

Mr Williamson said there are still significant risks for the economy, including "the cost impact of the Living Wage, government spending cuts, a potential hike in interest rates, global economic growth jitters and... Brexit".