MADRID, (Reuters) - Spain’s service sector grew in November at a slightly slower pace than a month earlier, as new business creation eased and uncertainty over the situation in Catalonia appeared to weigh on demand, a survey showed on Tuesday.
Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of service companies stood at 54.4 in November, down very slightly from 54.6 in October and compared with 55.0 expected in a Reuters
poll. The index has held above the 50 line separating growth from contraction for 49 months running.
“Although the pace of expansion in Spanish services activity remained solid in November, growth in the final quarter of the year looks set to be the weakest for some time,” associate
director at HIS Markit Andrew Harker said.
The slowdown in growth in the service sector contrasted with Spanish manufacturing’s fastest expansion in more than 10 years in November.
“As was the case in October, companies mainly attributed slower growth to the political situation in Catalonia, which has acted to dampen demand,” Harker said.
The clash between the central government and Catalonia, which is pushing for secession, tipped Spain into its worst political crisis in forty years and prompted thousands of
companies to relocate their legal headquarters out of the region.
Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Hugh Lawson