Latest economic reports bring mixed tidings for Britain's economy, with a service-sector surge offset by disappointing retail figures.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply's index of service sector activity jumped from 59.1 in October to 59.6 last month -- signalling the fastest monthly expansion since June 1997.

Of the survey's component measures, new business increased 1.7 points to 60.1, employment edged up from 51.1 to 51.4, and future expectations climbed from 76.3 to 79.1. Any figure above 50.0 indicates growth.

However, the monthly snapshot of the retailing sector from the Confederation of British Industry was more downbeat. Around 41% of retailers in the CBI survey recorded a rise in sales last month, compared with 22% who reported a decline. The +19% balance is well down on the +35% in October.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff