The service sector purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to just about 50 last month according to figures released this morning (Tuesday).
An index value of less than 50 indicates a sector in retreat, so the fall from 51.2 to 50.1 suggests services are at best stagnating. With the service sector accounting for 80% of economic activity in the UK, a shrinking services sector would point towards severe economic weakness.
Expectations were that the index would fall – but to 51.
Commenting, Ian Murray MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, stated:
“Any Brexit deal means years and years of uncertainty discouraging investment, choking growth and threatening jobs.
“All the focus now is on the Backstop. But Backstop or no Backstop, it is a bad deal full stop, because the blindfold Brexit we are being offered settles nothing for the long-term.
“The Political Declaration that accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement barely even counts as a wish-list and guarantees nothing. If Parliament voted to back the Prime Minister’s deal the Brexit civil war would not stop, it would immediately move on to what might happen after the transition period.
“That means the stagnation revealed in today’s PMI figures would become a permanent fixture of British life.
“With Parliament deadlocked the only way forward is to ask the public if they want to go ahead with the Prime Minister’s deal, or keep our current deal as EU members in a People’s Vote.”