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PMI figures may reveal more than referendum jitters

05 May 2016

Outside shot of the front of 116 Pall MallResponding to the publication of the closely-watched purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the services sector, which gave a worse-than-expected reading of 52.3, the lowest since February 2013, James Sproule, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“These figures will be put down to uncertainty over the EU referendum, but while this may explain part of the fall, we should also consider whether there are underlying factors feeding into a less rosy economic picture.

“The question we must ask is whether growth is built on solid foundations. My concern is that the exceptional period we are living in of low rates and cheap money is not the basis of a sustainable economy. We do not know what the outcome of the referendum will be, or the exact effects on the economy in the short and longer term, but this uncertainty is not an excuse to take our eye off the ball on more fundamental issues of economic sustainability.”

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