IHS Markit: Business Activity Slows in November

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Growth in the United Kingdom dominant services sector slowed last month as companies raised their prices at the fastest pace for almost a decade, according to a closely watched survey. The headline index has signaled expansion in each of the past 53 months.

Business activity across the euro zone accelerated in November as firms struggled to meet booming demand, according to a survey giving the latest evidence the bloc's economy was a star performer this year.

IHS Markit's final composite Purchasing Managers' Index for the euro zone, seen as a good guide to growth, was confirmed at an earlier flash reading of 57.5, up from October's 56.

Beside an increase in new orders, firms reported that greater business requirements have led to employment growth. Although the latest reading indicated a slightly weaker economic expansion, the overall rate of growth is still strong by recent standards, the company said.

"The upturn shows few signs of losing momentum to any significant extent", he said.

Average prices for services increased further in November, with the rate of inflation accelerating. Prices charged by services companies picked up for a fifth month running in November to be at the highest level since February 2008.

The services sector - which includes finance, real estate services, marketing, transportation and retailing - has become an increasingly important part of the Chinese economy, reflecting a shift away from traditional heavy-industry manufacturing and exports. The services sector is more labor-intensive than manufacturing, and policymakers are counting on it to create more jobs.

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