03 October 2007 | Antony Barton
Activity growth in the UK service sector remained strong last month, despite dropping to a 13-month low.
The CIPS/NTC Purchasing Managers' Index for September, where a figure above 50 represents growth, recorded a score of 56.7, down from 57.6 in August.
New business helped sustain the growth, with companies reporting new product launches and an increase in sales and marketing activities. Although growth in new business has eased since June's seven-month peak of 59.6, reaching 57.5 in September, it remains in line with the average for the year to date.
Companies reported an increase in backlogs of work for the sixth successive month, although the rate of increase has dropped from August's eight-month high of 52.2 to 50.6, the weakest since April. The report attributes this to an easing of capacity pressures in the service sector.
Employment continued to rise, but growth slowed from 53.7 in August to 51.8, the weakest in 19 months, as most firms decided to leave staffing levels intact.
* Further coverage of PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi