According to a survey released on Friday, the highest inflation pressures in at least 23 years slowed the recovery of British services companies from the COVID-19 pandemic in November and dented optimism for the coming year.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped to 58.5 in November from 59.1 in October, revised down marginally from a preliminary "flash" estimate of 58.6.

The survey's gauges of service providers' costs and prices charged to customers reached their highest levels since records began in 1998, which some Bank of England officials may interpret as supporting the case for an interest rate hike on December 16 at the Bank's next policy announcement.

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The PMI showed that new orders increased at the quickest rate in five months, fuelled by the travel industry after the easing of lockdown restrictions.

"Worryingly, the fastest-growing sections of the service sector are also the most vulnerable to the return of tighter pandemic restrictions, especially as we near the critical festive spending period," said Tim Moore, IHS Markit's economics director.

Even before most of the businesses surveyed last month learned of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, optimism had dropped to a one-year low.

The composite PMI, which combines the services survey and the manufacturing PMI released on Wednesday, fell to 57.6 in November from 57.8 in October.