03 June 2005 | Gareth Mytton
More than a quarter of UK services companies said business grew in May, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) report.
The services sector business activity index - a composite indicator of sector conditions from CIPS and NTC Research in which an index of 50 indicates no change on the previous month, fell to 55.1, from 56.5 in April.
New orders grew strongly again, at 55.4, thanks to some aggressive sales efforts and potential orders turning into concrete business. But this was the lowest index so far in 2005.
The input price index fell to 57.6, amid rises in energy, fuel, utilities, wages and raw material prices. The sectors that suffered the biggest increases were hotels and restaurants, along with transport and communications. But overall, the inflation was the lowest since last March.
In the euro-zone, the NTC Research services sector business activity index rose to 53.5, from 52.8 in April.
• Coverage of previous months' services, manufacturing and construction PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi
• More information on the UK and euro-zone PMIs is available at www.ntc-research.com