The U.K. service sector was surprisingly robust in October, with the Markit purchasing managers' index climbing to a solidly expansionary 62.5 from 60.3 in September. The new reading is the highest since 1997 and stumped economists who expected a slight decline. "Momentum, particularly in the domestically exposed services sector, is stronger than we expected just a few months ago. We expect that the [Bank of England's] forecast will be similarly affected, with a stronger growth profile and a more rapid fall in unemployment compared to their August forecast," said Jens Larsen, Royal Bank of Canada's chief U.K. economist.
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