Rover collapse puts brakes on services orders

4 May 2005
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05 May 2005 | Gareth Mytton

The collapse of MG Rover hit new orders in the UK services economy in April, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey.

But order books still kept growing. The new orders index stood at 55.6, well above the 50 figure that indicates no change on the previous month, but a fall of 1.3 on March.

The services sector business activity index - a composite indicator of economic conditions - was 56.5, according to the report, compiled by CIPS and NTC Research.

Although this showed a slight fall on March's 57, almost a quarter of companies said activity was higher than in the previous month.

Higher fuel prices hit the transport sector in particular, as just under one in five businesses reported higher input prices. Other price rises came in raw materials, fuel, energy, utilities and labour.

Activity also fell in the euro-zone, according to NTC Research's report. The services sector business activity index fell to 52.8 in April from 53, with activity falling in Italy.

The US non-manufacturing sector reported further pressure from suppliers for price increases. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing report on business put April's prices index at 61.9, down from 65.6 the month before. No industry said its input costs had fallen.

The overall PMI stood at 61.7, a 1.4 point fall on March,

• Coverage of previous months' manufacturing, construction and services 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.

• The full text of the ISM reports on the US non-manufacturing economy for April and previous months is available at http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/index.cfm.

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