Business survey suggests Brexit uncertainty deterring foreign firms from buying UK services. A broader measure of new work decreased for the third consecutive month in November, with the sector contracting at its sharpest rate in more than three years. The combination of weak domestic and foreign orders meant the IHS Markit/Cips UK purchasing managers index slipped back to 49.3 from 50 in October . “A veil of silence also descended over European clients in particular, who were reluctant to commit until there is more clarity in the UK’s future direction,” he said.
Services companies, which account for about three-quarters of private sector activity in the UK, halted the job layoffs that began earlier in the year, but many said their optimism about their prospects in the new year was “contingent on hopes of a more stable political and economic landscape”.
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