The emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has hurt British hospitality and travel firms this month, pushing down the private sector growth to a 10-month low.
Source: IHS Markit
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The preliminary “flash” IHS Markit/CIPS UK Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) plunged to 53.2 in December, from 57.6 in November.
The survey revealed slower growth in new orders and price pressures, which have been noted by BoE’s policymakers ahead of their December policy decision.
Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit, stated activity dropped sharply in the hotels, restaurants, travel, and transport sectors and slowed down other consumer-facing businesses.
The PMI for the services sector dropped slightly to 53.2 in December from 58.5 in November, reaching a record-low since February.
Meanwhile, manufacturers performed better in December, with factory PMI’s output index rising to 53.3 in December from 52.7 in November, a four-month high.