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UK Service-Sector PMI Beats Expectations, GBP Little Changed

UK Service-Sector PMI Beats Expectations, GBP Little Changed

Martin Essex, MSTA, Analyst

Talking Points

- UK services PMI jumps to 55.8 in April from 55.0 in March, reaching a four-month high.

- However, GBPUSD shrugs off the data to trade little changed.

- Check out the DailyFX Economic Calendar and see what live coverage of key event risk impacting FX markets is scheduled for the week on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

The UK service-sector purchasing managers’ index climbed to 55.8 in April from 55.0 the month before, surprising analysts whose median forecast for the indicator was a fall to 54.5. The data suggest ongoing growth in the sector and add to the impression given by this week’s PMIs for the manufacturing and construction sectors of solid UK economic growth.

All the UK PMIs are well above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction and might have been expected to boost the British Pound. However, GBPUSD barely moved on the latest figure. The currency remains well supported despite ongoing tensions between the UK and the EU over Brexit.

Chart: GBPUSD One-Minute Timeframe (May 4)

UK Service-Sector PMI Beats Expectations, GBP Little Changed

Chart by IG

The service-sector data showed the sharpest rise in business activity since December 2016. New work and employment levels expanded at the fastest pace so far in 2017 while April saw the fastest increase in average prices charged since July 2008.

“The upturn in the services PMI rounds off a hat-trick of good news after upside surprises to both the manufacturing and construction PMIs. The three surveys collectively point to GDP growing at a rate of 0.6% at the start of the second quarter,” wrote Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor

To contact Martin, email him at martin.essex@ig.com

Follow Martin on Twitter @MartinSEssex

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