Optimism across the services sector improved for the fourth consecutive month in February to its highest level since 2006, reflecting hopes that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will lead to a strong economic rebound . Most firms looked beyond their current difficulties to focus on the prospect of looser restrictions on trade resulting from a successful vaccine rollout programme. The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers index (PMI) covering the service sector stabilised at 49.5 in February, up sharply from an eight-month low of 39.5 in January . […] daily Business Today email There was a warning from survey respondents about rising prices, which they said were passed on during February partly in response to Covid-related shortages of shipping on the main international routes and Brexit-related delays. […] Increased optimism also helped to stabilise employment, with only a small fall across services firms, which represent around three-quarters of the UK’s economic activity.
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