Sentiment slides across UK service sector - CBI
Sentiment across the UK service sector softened in November, a closely-watched survey showed on Wednesday, as both volumes and profits fell.
According to the latest service sector survey from the Confederation of British Industry, in the three months to November sentiment across business and professional services providers dropped at the fastest pace since February, with a balance of -14. That compares to 3 in the three months to August.
Within consumers services, sentiment dropped to -6 following two consecutive quarters where it was broadly unchanged.
Respondents flagged both declining volumes and profits. In business and professional services, the volumes balance was -9 while profitability fell for the eighth consecutive quarter, to -15.
Volumes also fell in consumer services, albeit at slower rate than the previous month, with a balance of -5 compared to -10 in October. As with business and professional services, profitability fell for the eighth consecutive quarter, with a balance of -27.
However, average costs eased across the sector, with the weakest growth since May 2021 for business and professional services firm and August 2021 for consumer services firms.
Charlotte Dendy, the CBI’s economic surveys and data manager, said: "Our latest survey highlights yet another difficult period for the service sector, with volumes and profitability falling.
"While cost and price growth eased last quarter, firms will be bracing for stronger growth across both in the months ahead, putting additional pressure on the sector."
The survey of 243 service sector firms was carried out between 27 October and 14 November.