World Economy

Spanish Service Sector Growing

Spanish Service Sector GrowingSpanish Service Sector Growing

Spain’s service sector grew at a slightly faster pace in October than a month earlier, a survey published on Wednesday showed, the first rise since July and easing concerns the economy may have peaked in the first half.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index of service companies stood at 55.9 in October, up from 55.1 in September. The index has now remained above the 50 line separating growth from contraction since November 2013. A Reuters poll of analysts had predicted a rise to 55.3.

The service sector, which accounts for around half of economic output, has been key to the country’s recovery from a prolonged slump as Spaniards return to the high street and restaurants.

“The slight pick-up in growth rates of activity and new business was a positive from the latest services PMI survey as it broke the recent momentum of slowing rates of expansion and provides optimism that solid increases can be recorded during the remainder of the year,” Markit economist Andrew Harker said.

Spain’s economy slowed slightly in the third quarter after growing at its fastest pace since 2007 in the second quarter.

The pace of growth in the PMI survey’s employment sub-index also rose slightly, growing to 52.9 from 52.6 a month earlier, marking 13 straight months in which hiring has increased.

The number of people in Spain registered as unemployed rose for the third month in a row in October as a bumper tourism season tailed off and people hired to help out in hotels, restaurants and other service areas lost their jobs.