Services sector returns to growth

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The services sector returned to growth in January after snow the previous month, a survey suggests

The powerhouse services sector returned to growth in January after December’s snow, making it more likely that the UK will avoid a double-dip recession, a survey has suggested.

The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey – where a reading above 50 indicates growth – rose to 54.5 in January from 49.7 the previous month, helped by a recovery in orders after the snow disruption.

Activity in the sector, which accounts for about three-quarters of GDP, rose to its highest level since May but still faces challenges as input cost inflation recorded its highest jump since the survey began, which indicates further price rises on the way to consumers.

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