Spanish services activity speeds up in January at fastest pace since July – PMI

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MADRID, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Activity in the Spanish services sector sped up in January, on higher demand and renewed optimism, a survey showed on Friday, even though elevated inflation remained a concern for business people.

S&P Global’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Spain’s services sector, which accounts for around half of Spanish economic output, rose to 52.7 last month from 51.6 in December, the strongest reading since July, well above the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction.

“Expansions in activity and new business were sustained in January and, in fact, sharpened to six- and seven-month highs, respectively,” S&P Global’s economist Laura Denman said.

“The main driver in each of these upturns was an improvement in the overall demand environment which is certainly a positive sign for the future,” she added.

Even though company owners are more optimistic about the future and have hired more workers, high inflation remains a concern to most of them.

A sister survey of Spanish factory activity in January released on Wednesday, however, showed a contraction.

The Spanish economy is expected to slow down this year from the stronger-than-expected 5.5% growth rate recorded in 2022.

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