LONDON: Britain’s economy risks stalling or contracting as Brexit nears and the global economy slows, with firms in the dominant services sector reporting job cuts for the first time in six years and falling orders, a survey showed on Tuesday. A closely watched gauge of the world’s fifth-biggest economy, the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index, fell to 50.1 in January from 51.2 in December - its lowest level since July 2016 and barely above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. A Reuters poll of economists had expected a reading of 51.0. Britain’s economy defied forecasts from some economists that it would go into recession after the 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union. But growth slowed sharply in late 2018 as worries mounted about an abrupt, no-deal Brexit. Overall, the survey suggested Britain’s economy is flat-lining after losing momentum late last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2019.
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