'Surprise' service sector activity fall

Activity in the UK's services sector fell for the first time in two years in December, a survey has suggested, raising fears of yet another recession.

The PMI services index from Markit/CIPS fell to 48.9 in December, down from 50.2 in November. Any score below 50 indicates the sector is shrinking.

Markit blamed the contraction on a fall in new business.

Chief strategist at Mint Partners Bill Blain told BBC News that the decline was a surprise to economists.

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