Growth in the UK’s services sector slowed last month, according to IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey.

The PMI reading fell to 53.5 in July, the lowest figure for three months and down from June’s figure of 55.1. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

IHS Markit said the data was a “disappointing start to the third quarter” for the sector.

Tim Moore, an associate director at IHS Markit, said: “The service sector moved back into the slow lane in July as business activity growth lost momentum for the first time since the start of spring.

“While it’s difficult to quantify the precise impact of the recent heat wave on overall business performance, some survey respondents reported that a combination of hot weather and the World Cup had weighed on consumer footfall.

“These short-term disruptions and a general slowdown in new business growth appear to have offset the boost to tourism-related activity from the extended dry period in July.”

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