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Rising service activity offset by slower manufacturing

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Tough times for manufacturers meant private sector business activity across the East of England fell for the first time in four months in November although service activity increased, according to a survey of purchasing managers.

The headline seasonally adjusted Lloyds TSB East of England PMI dropped to 49.2 in November from 50.7 in October as higher output levels in the service sector were offset by lower manufacturing production.

New business fell for the first time in three months and at a higher rate than in the UK as a whole. Some firms reported a lack of confidence and fragile economic conditions in the UK. But after job cuts in September and October, payroll numbers remained broadly unchanged in the East of England private sector during November.

But the rate of contraction was lower than that recorded in October and was mainly driven by a decrease in backlogged work in the manufacturing sector. The rate of input cost inflation picked up during November and was the strongest since April, driven partly by rising input costs.

Steve Elsom, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in East Anglia, said:“After a three-month period of growth across the East of England, output fell during November to one of the lowest levels in the UK. The decline of incoming new business was one of the drivers for this fall in output and was attributed to weakness in the wider UK economy.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:48 )