After Monday’s disappointing construction data, attention turned to the services PMI reading for January. The latest figures showed a slump in the performance to 50.1 from 51.2 the previous month. It is the lowest reading for more than two years and serves as further evidence that Brexit uncertainty is having an adverse effect on the UK economy. It is remarkable that nobody knows what is going to happen, even with just 51 days until the UK is set to leave the EU.
Chris Grayling and Theresa May continue to insist that there will be no extension of article 50, which does seem to suggest that the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal. There just is not enough time to find a way of pleasing enough MPs to get an agreement through the Commons. Add in the fact that the EU has said it is not prepared to negotiate the existing agreement and you have a pretty dire situation. Still, May will fly out to Brussels on Thursday.
UK car sales suffered another decline in January, with registrations falling by 1.6% year-on-year. The release follows two years of falling sales and does not bode well for the coming year. There are no releases on the economic data schedule, but there will no doubt be more Brexit-related news to keep us occupied.