03 August 2006 | Paul Snell
The UK services sector grew for the fortieth consecutive month in July, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) released today.
The CIPS/RBS Purchasing PMI reported that business activity in the UK services sector remained strong in July, although it continued to decrease from peaks seen earlier in the year.
The PMI, where an index above 50 indicates growth, recorded 57.9 in July in the business activity index. This is a slight drop on the June figure of 58.7. The figure has been falling since April's index of 59.7. Firms attributed the decrease in activity to the World Cup and July heat wave.
New business also remained above 50 for the thirty-ninth successive month, a reading of 58. This is up 0.1 on June's 57.9.
Employment growth also remained strong, at 54.3. This compares with a peak in June of 54.6. Companies reported that new staff were being hired to support new project developments and in anticipation of new orders.
The euro zone PMI for services posted a figure of 57.9 in July, a six-month low, compared with an index of 60.7 in June. Coverage of previous PMI reports is available at www.supplymanagement.com/pmi