Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Economy 'Stalling' as Services Firms Suffer Cruel April

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Economy 'Stalling' as Services Firms Suffer Cruel April

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Goodway

FEARS grew today that the UK is grinding to a halt ahead of the Brexit vote as data revealed that the economy barely grew last month.

April saw the weakest growth in services for three years, signalling a mere 0.1% rise for the overall economy, according to the purchasing managers' index from Markit/Cips.

That is massively down on the 0.4% growth seen in the first three months of the year.

"The slowdown in the service sector follows similar weakness in manufacturing and construction to make a triple whammy of disappointing news on the health of the economy at the start of the second quarter," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit. "Some of the slowdown may be attributable to the early timing of Easter, though April also saw an increase in the number of companies reporting that uncertainty about the European Union referendum caused customers to hold back on purchases."

The index fell from 53.7 to 52. …

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