FTSE 100 flat as business activity falls back in services sector

<p>The FTSE 100 has struggled to make headway following a fresh CBI report.</p>

The FTSE 100 has had a disappointing afternoon of trading today (February 25th) and the latest quarterly report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) will not have helped.

According to the data compiled by the body, business fell across the service sector over the last three months at a worse-than-expected rate.

The business and professional service sector, which includes accountancy, legal and marketing firms, suffered as companies cut their prices and the cost of employment rose.

However, the survey of 147 firms reported a slightly brighter picture for the next three months, with volumes expected to rise and employment set to increase more markedly.

CBI head of economic analysis Anna Leach commented: "The more bullish tone from consumer firms is encouraging but households are likely to remain cautious given the expected further squeezes on their budgets during 2013."

At 16:35 GMT, the FTSE 100 made marginal gains to an index value of 6349 points.

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