Investing.com - Service sector activity in the U.K. expanded at the fastest rate since March 2011 last month, easing concerns over the country's economic outlook, industry data showed on Wednesday.
In a report, market research group Markit said the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Services Purchasing Managers Index rose to 56.9 in June from a reading of 54.9 in May.
Analysts had expected the index to ease down to 54.5 last month.
On the index, a level above 50.0 indicates expansion in the industry, below 50.0 indicates contraction.
The data showed that new business increased at the sharpest pace since June 2007 last month.
Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at survey compilers Markit said, ""The buoyant picture for June means the economy is on course to expand by at least 0.5% in the second quarter, with more growth to come."
He added that, "With growth this strong it's hard to see how any of the members of the Monetary Policy Committee could make a case for further quantitative easing."
Following the release of that data, the pound added to gains against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD climbing 0.38% to trade at 1.5213.
Meanwhile, European stock markets remained sharply lower. London's FTSE 100 tumbled 1.6%, the EURO STOXX 50 plunged 1.9%, France's CAC 40 dropped 1.6%, while Germany's DAX fell 1.6%.
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