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UK Services slowed due to bad weather

The weather over the last month had a big impact on British services businesses, which grew at the slowest rate since just after the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, a survey showed earlier today.

The IHS Markit/CIPS services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) tumbled to 51.7 in March from February’s reading of 54.5, it’s the lowest reading since July 2016 and a bigger fall than any economist had forecast.

Looking at the first three months of 2018, the figures suggest Britain’s economy grew at a quarterly rate of just below 0.3 percent, down from an already-modest 0.4 percent at the end of 2017.

Reflecting the downbeat mood among consumers, as well as a tax increase in 2017, separate data showed new car registrations last month were 16 percent lower than a year earlier.

PMI data for the eurozone has also weakened due to the weather, but economists still predict the bloc will outpace Britain in the first quarter with growth of 0.5 percent.

However, the temporary cause of the business disruption meant the data did little to shift market expectations that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee would raise interest rates next month for only the second time since the financial crisis.

Overall the Pound still stays strong against the Euro and Dollar.

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