British companies reported a marginal return to growth in November after three months of contraction but the downturn in orders continued in the face of higher interest rates and weak demand, a survey showed on Thursday.
A day after finance minister Jeremy Hunt announced measures to boost the country’s weak economic growth, the S&P Global/CIPS UK Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – spanning services and manufacturing firms – showed a preliminary reading of 50.1 in November. That was up from 48.7 in October, and above the 50 threshold for growth for the first time since July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an unchanged reading of 48.7. Sterling jumped against the dollar and the euro, while British government bond prices fell and markets pushed back bets on when the Bank of England will start to cut interest rates.