Service sector slowdown shows global economy is losing momentum – business live | Business

Last week’s manufacturing PMI’s showed little sign of a pickup in January, apart from a decent number from Spain, and today’s services numbers might well be similarly disappointing. We already had a sneak preview of the French and German numbers at the end of last month and the French numbers were particularly awful, disrupted to some extent by the “gilet jaunes” protests, coming in at 47.5, almost a 5-year low, and down from 49 in December, having cratered from 55.1 in November.

In Italy the services sector is expected to have stagnated in January, coming in at 50, and in the process inviting further scrutiny of the Italian governments growth expectations, which continue to look spectacularly heroic, as well as being even more unachievable as each day passes. It can only be a matter of time before the market refocuses its attention on the likelihood of the Italian government running back into conflict with the EU about its fiscal plans.

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