MADRID, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The rate of growth in Spain’s key service sector fell to its lowest in nine months in October, a survey showed on Monday, with the political crisis in Catalonia weighing heavily on business sentiment.
Spain’s central government took direct control of Catalonia at the end of October after the regional government staged an illegal vote on secession from the rest of Spain before declaring itself independent.
Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of service companies stood at 54.6 in October, down from 56.7 in September.
The index has held above the 50 line separating contraction from growth in every month since October 2013.
The October data showed the service sector continued to expand as the Spanish economy maintained a solid growth trend, associate director at IHS Markit Andrew Harker said, adding that the Catalan crisis had weighed on the sector.
“Events in Catalonia acted to dampen growth, with the impact on service providers greater than was seen for manufacturers in the sister PMI survey last week. There were reports of clients delaying spending decisions amid uncertainty, while business sentiment dropped to the lowest in over a year,” he said.
Business sentiment in the service sector fell to 67.7 in October, the lowest level in just over a year, from 70.0 a month earlier, Markit said.
Spanish manufacturing activity expanded in October at the fastest rate in 2-1/2 years, a poll showed on Thursday.
Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Catherine Evans firstname.lastname@example.org; +34 91 585 83 08; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com