Mixed Signals From the British Economy Last Month

Last month, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Index and the Markit Construction Purchasing Managers Index indicated somewhat mixed results for the growth of the national economy during the election period. Both hiring intention in the services sector and construction output declined, but the services sector itself continued surging.

Hiring intentions in the services sector reportedly continued on a downward trend from February of this year, falling to 56.6 on the Index. In February, this figure stood at 57.3 and in March at 56.8.

Construction output also slowed, reaching the lowest point in April in some 22 months. The figure fell to 54.2 from 57.8 last month. Some analysts attributed the plunge to a reluctance to make significant spending decisions on the part of managers until the national election ended.

However, on the bright side, the economic statistics reported by the Index for the service sector itself remained upbeat. The services sector today represents the most significant type of employment in the British economy. During April, it grew faster that at any time during the past eight months, reaching the level of 59.5.

A chief economist at Markit, Chris Williamson, forecast a mixed picture. He stated:”It looks like the economy has rebounded from weakness seen at the start of the new year. But there are warning lights flashing about the sustainability of growth.” From across the pond The Aspire New Brunswick in addition to the NJSpotlight noted the importance of the service sector.