Businesses in Britain's services sector grew at their fastest pace since January last month, a survey showed, and the broader economy kept up its momentum in late 2016. But there are still plenty of Brexit uncertainties ahead. Sonia Legg reports
It dominates the UK economy and the service sector is still growing fast despite the threat of Brexit. IHS/Markit's PMI rose to 55.2 in November - beating all forecasts. But optimism about the future was weak, due to the U.S. election and the fall in the value of the pound. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT CITY INDEX, KATHLEEN BROOKS, SAYING: "What we haven't seen is that decline in the pound - massive once in a life time decline the pound - yet really feed through to much stronger manufacturing and much stronger exports and this has been the case in the UK before. Our service sector is so enormous a fall in the pound can actually be worse for living standards and worse for the economy." The government is finding the route to Brexit packed with obstacles. This protest is in support of the legal profession. It was criticised by pro-Brexit supporters after judges ruled that parliamentary approval is needed before Article 50 can be triggered. The government is now appealing that decision. If it wins, it can proceed with plans to invoke Article 50 by the end of March. If it loses parliament could in theory block Brexit, although few expect such an outcome. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT CITY INDEX, KATHLEEN BROOKS, SAYING: "The trickle of information that we are getting from the government is really starting to show that they are looking, not for a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit but a grey Brexit, that's what is being thrown around now, which is some sort of middle ground so it is not going to be nearly as harsh as we thought back in October." So Britain's still in the black for now - the PMIs point to fourth quarter growth of half a percent.