Falling pound appears to give UK service companies a lift

A man looks at a currency exchange rate list at a currency exchange bureau, on a main shopping street in London, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. The pound has

A man looks at a currency exchange rate list at a currency exchange bureau, on a main shopping street in London, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. The pound has

LONDON (AP) — A closely watched survey shows that the falling pound has helped Britain's service companies pick up new business.

In their joint survey, financial information company IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply said Monday that an increase in new work lifted business activity growth to its highest since October 2018.

The sector's purchasing managers' index rose to 51.4 points in July from 50.2 the previous month, taking the index further above the 50-level that marks no change in output.

The survey found respondents saw an export boon from the weak pound.

The pound has fallen sharply in recent weeks amid growing talk within the British government that the country will leave the European Union on the Brexit date of Oct. 31, with or without a withdrawal agreement.