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Spain Services Growth Strongest In 5 Months?On Better Demand


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Spain’s service sector expanded at the fastest pace in five months, as activity and new orders registered back-to-back growth in December, supported by?a marginally better demand environment, survey results from S&P Global showed on Wednesday.

The services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose slightly to 51.6 in December from 51.2 in November. A score above 50.0 indicates expansion in the sector.

Higher activity in December was largely dependent on a further rise in new orders, which grew at the fastest pace since July.

Although underlying market activity remains subdued, companies reported that sales increased due to a slight pick-up in demand.

Companies continued to add workforce numbers for the third straight month, and the rate of job creation was the strongest in five months.

On the price front, input price inflation eased to a 4-month low in December, though it remained elevated. The overall sharp inflation was led by higher operating expenses on employment and charges paid to suppliers. Prices charged by service providers increased sharply, but to the lowest degree since September.

Optimism about the future was a little lower than in November and remained historically subdued amid inflation concerns.

The composite output index also rose to 49.9 in December from 49.6 in November. A modest growth of service sector activity in December was outweighed by an on-going contraction of manufacturing output.

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