UK biz activity suffers steep fall in January: Report
UK biz activity suffers steep fall in January: Report

London: Business activity in the United Kingdom in January 2021 registered an eight-month-low slump as the country introduced a new round of lockdown restrictions due to the covid-10 pandemic, according to a report.

British Composite Output Index stood at 40.6 in January, down sharply from 50.4 in December 2020, far below the neutral 50.0 thresholds, said the report published on Friday by IHS Markit /CIPS.

"A steep slump in business activity in January puts the lockdown UK economy on course to contract sharply in the first quarter of 2021, meaning a double-dip recession is on the cards," Xinhua news agency quoted Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, a London-based global information provider, as saying.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the services sector slipped to 38.8 in January, down sharply from 49.4 in December, figures showed. In addition, PMI for the manufacturing sector recorded 52.9 in January, down from 57.5 in December.

"This is a sudden blow to the UK economy as a recovery in the two sectors lost its momentum after some improvement at the end of last year," said Duncan Brock, group director at the CIPS, a UK-based global procurement and supply organization.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restrictive measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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