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United Kingdom PMI December 2023

United Kingdom: Composite PMI hits highest reading since June in December

The S&P Global/CIPS Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 51.7 in December, up from November’s 50.7. December’s result marked the best reading since June. As a result, the index moved further above the 50.0 no-change threshold, signaling a faster improvement in private sector operating conditions compared to the previous month. Higher business activity and order books drove the improvement. That said, employment and exports continued to fall. Meanwhile, business sentiment was the strongest since September, thanks to greater optimism in the services sector.

The Manufacturing PMI came in at 46.4 in December, down from November’s 47.2, while the Services PMI increased to 52.7 in December (November: 50.9).

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:

“The UK economy continues to dodge recession, with growth picking up some momentum at the end of the year to suggest that GDP stagnated over the fourth quarter as a whole. While employment meanwhile fell for a fourth month, the decline was only marginal and not indicative of any material rise in unemployment. This is, however, a dual-speed economy, with manufacturing contracting sharply while services regained some poise, the latter growing faster in December thanks in part to financial services activity being buoyed by hopes of lower interest rates in 2024.”

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