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UK January PMI Services PMI Index Slows To 54.5, Inflation Pressures Continue

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Hong Kong's January PMI signals contraction

The PMI report polls private sector companies but does not cover retailers or government services.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index rose to 49.4 in January from December's 38-month low of 47.6, pointing to a weaker contraction in private sector activity. There was also some evidence that increased costs were discouraging companies from increasing staffing levels.

"Can the United Kingdom economy keep pace as inflation erodes the spending power of the consumer?" Economists expect the index to be at 55.8 in January, compared to 56.2 in the previous month.

Based on the upbeat survey data, IHS Markit economist Samuel Agass said the firm is forecasting 0.8% GDP growth for 2017, that will mark an end to Russia's current recession.

Earlier in the week, survey data showed that Russian manufacturing production grew at the quickest pace for 70 months, amid the fastest increase in new orders in almost six years. The services report and similar surveys out earlier this week on manufacturing and construction still indicated a "buoyant start" to 2017 for the United Kingdom economy, he added.

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On Thursday, the Bank of England revised up its forecast for the United Kingdom economy this year, and now expects it to grow by 2%.

Markit's analysis shows the reading translating to a rise in GDP of 0.4 per cent over the quarter.

"Inflationary pressures are becoming increasingly concerning", said Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the forecasters EY Item Club, commenting on the poll. However, the rate of job creation slowed to a five-month low.

The rate of input cost inflation across the three sectors accelerated sharply in January to its joint-highest since before the global financial crisis, hitting a record high in manufacturing, a post-crisis high in construction and a six-year peak in services. It therefore covers about half the economy, whereas official data on services published with more of a lag covers nearly 80%.

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