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Business activity in Spain continues to rise, albeit at reduced pace

Staff Writer | November 7, 2017
The Spanish service sector remained comfortably in growth territory during October, seeing marked increases in activity and new business, as well as a faster pace of job creation.
Business activity in Spain
Spain   IHS Markit Spain Services PMI
That said, the rate of expansion in business activity was the slowest since January amid reports that political uncertainty in Catalonia dampened growth.

Similarly, business confidence dipped to the lowest in just over a year.

The headline seasonally adjusted Business Activity Index posted 54.6 in October, down from 56.7 in September.

Output has now risen on a monthly basis throughout the past four years.

The latest expansion was marked, but the slowest since January.

Central to the latest increase in output was rising client activity amid stronger market conditions.

On the other hand, some panellists indicated that the political situation in Catalonia restricted growth.

The expansion in activity was widespread across the sub-sectors covered by the survey.

The fastest increase was in Post & Telecommunications, followed by Transport & Storage.

New business continued to increase sharply during the month, although as was the case with activity there was a slowdown in the rate of expansion linked to delays in decision making among clients.

IHS Markit Spain Services PMI v Official data With new orders continuing to rise, service providers signalled another monthly increase in outstanding business.

Moreover, the rate of accumulation quickened for the second month running to the fastest since July 2015.

Companies responded to pressure on capacity by taking on extra staff again in October.

Employment has now risen in 37 successive months, with the latest increase faster than in September.

There were a number of reports of staff being taken on to work in commercial departments.

This investment in commercial teams is set to support growth of business activity over the coming year, according to respondents.

Companies remained optimistic that output will increase, although sentiment dipped to a 13-month low amid concern around the situation in Catalonia.