In addition to the services PMI data, there was further disappointment with the UK car sales release. They showed that new car registrations in the UK decreased by 6.3% year-on-year in January 2018. This is now the tenth month in a row that car sales have declined, mainly owing to a sharp fall in the demand for diesel cars.
The aforementioned services PMI was expected to increase very slightly from 54.2 in December to 54.3 in January, but it actually came in at 53.0. This still represents growth, but is hardly an encouraging start to the year. The pound slid against the dollar and euro, although this could have more to do with the fact that Theresa May has inexplicably ruled out any customs union.
There are no releases today, but we can expect continued fallout from the UK government’s position on Brexit. The Conservatives seem at odds with one another and it does feel as if May is trying to please everyone all of the time – a thankless and impossible task.