UK PMI Services was finalized at 47.1 in June, sharply higher from May’s 29.0. PMI Composite rose to 47.7, also sharply higher from May’s 30.0, hitting a four-month high.
Tim Moore, Economics Director at IHS Markit:
“June data highlights that the worst phase of the service sector downturn has passed as more businesses start to reopen and adapt their operations to meet social distancing requirements. The proportion of service providers reporting a drop in business activity has progressively eased after reaching a peak of 79% in April. Around 33% of the survey panel signalled a reduction in business activity during June, which compared with 54% in May.
“Encouragingly, more than one-in-four service providers reported an expansion of new business during June, which was commonly attributed to pent up demand and the phased restart of the UK economy. However, lockdown measures continued to hold back travel and leisure, while companies across all main categories of service activity commented on subdued underlying business and consumer spending in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The latest UK Services PMI data highlighted another steep decline in employment numbers, despite a rebound in business expectations for the year ahead. Service providers widely commented on fears of a slow recovery in customer demand and an immediate need to reduce overheads. Moreover, survey respondents often noted the high cost of adapting operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with constrained business capacity and difficulties passing on rising expenses to clients.”