United Kingdom services sector picks up, on track for 0.3pc growth rate

House-building is the only area of growth and even that slowed down in August

The output price index was 51.8 last month, up from 51.3.

"Looked at alongside the manufacturing PMI, the survey data point to GDP rising at an annualised rate of just over 2% in the third quarter".

United States services sector activity strengthened further in September, a closely followed survey indicated on Wednesday, with a slight easing in the rate of growth that was expected due to disruption caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

That increase came despite firms increasing prices at the second-fastest rate in over six years. However, when put against the backdrop of a weaker sterling and accelerating growth elsewhere in the world, notably the Eurozone, recent United Kingdom economic data leaves much to be desired.

However, the rate of expansion edged up only slightly on August's figures and remained weaker than the average for the first half of the year.

The PMI report showed the costs of services companies rose at the fastest pace since February, and they raised their own prices at the quickest rate in five months, suggesting inflation could top 3 percent in the coming months.

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Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: "The services sector saw another month of modest growth, running in the middle ground between the robust expansion seen in manufacturing and the contraction recorded in construction".

The Bank has forecast economic growth of 0.3% in the third quarter, so the IHS Markit findings should not prevent the Bank from "pressing ahead and raising interest rates in November", Mr Hollingsworth said.

A Reuters poll of economists in September suggested the European Central Bank will announce on October 26 a six-month extension to its asset purchase program but will cut how much it buys each month to €40 billion ($47 billion) from January.

Growth in the USA service sector eased in September from the prior month, though continued expansion in output and new orders bolstered staffing, according to a Wednesday report.

Brock says: Where consumers recovered a little from their spending hesitation last month, it was the turn of businesses to be spooked into inactivity, exerting greater scrutiny over new projects and long-term spending plans.

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