Britain’s crucial services sector grew slower than expected in May

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The service sector covers everything from waiting tables to banking.
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REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON – Britain’s crucial services sector grew slower than expected in May.

Data provider IHS-Markit said on Monday that services PMI, a measure of expected growth in the sector, came in at 53.8 for May. Economists had been expecting a reading of 55.0, which itself would have been a slowdown from 55.8 in April.

Britain’s service sector covers everything from waiters in coffee shops to bankers advising on takeover deals. It accounts for a huge chunk of the economy, with the Office for National Statistics saying that 79% of UK GDP came from services in 2013.

Last week IHS-Markit’s construction PMI showed better than expected growth in the sector, while manufacturing activity also remains “resilient.”

Data from IHS-Markit earlier on Monday morning showed the strong German economy powering the eurozone to its highest growth in 6 years. Overall economy growth in Germany came in at 57.4 for May, beating expectations. Eurozone-wide growth hit 56.8.

However, French economic growth and Italian service sector growth came in below forecasts.