Britain's economy finished 2016 strongly, growing at the fastest pace in 17 months with PMI services pushing higher for the third month in a row to 56.2 in December. However higher prices look set to hit consumers soon as firms pass on a big rise in costs, largely due to the fall in the pounds value since June's vote to leave the European Union. This positive services figure put Britain on track to be one of the world's fastest-growing advanced economies last year.
Prime Minister Theresa May has moved swiftly to calm tensions over the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers as Britain’s ambassador to the EU, by appointing career diplomat Sir Tim Barrow as his replacement. The appointment shows that the Prime Minister has clearly ignored calls to appoint a staunch Brexiter.
Downing Street’s decision to replace Rogers quickly is due to the urgent need to prepare for Brexit talks, and also reduces political unease, after Sir Ivan’s resignation highlighted wider strains amongst the government. Sir Tim, said he was "honoured" to be appointed permanent representative to the EU and promised to work for "the right outcome" for the UK after Brexit.
In the US yesterday job creation tailed off significantly in December, pointing to an increasingly tight labour market where major gains ahead could be difficult to achieve, according to a report Thursday from ADP.
The monthly report for private job creation showed companies added 153,000 in the month after Donald Trump captured the presidency. That was considerably below market expectations of 170,000 and well below the 215,000 added in November. It also came amid expectations for significantly stronger growth under the new president.
Service-sector hiring in the US was solid at the end of 2016, according to two surveys released on Thursday. Markit Economics reported a robust rise in service sector payrolls in December. Its purchasing manager's index (PMI) came in at 53.9 for the month beating economists’ forecasts.
The Institute of Supply Management reported its non-manufacturing index at 57.2, unchanged from November, and beating the consensus forecast for 56.8. It was the highest reading for the index since October 2015.
13:30 – USD: US Non- Farm Payrolls (Dec) expected to fall to 175K from 178K
13:30 – USD: US Unemployment Rate (Dec) expected to increase from 4.6% to 4.7%