For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Services growth at six-year high
BRITAIN'S services sector accelerated at its fastest pace for more than six years in August, new figures have revealed.
New business at companies ranging from restaurants to law firms expanded at the sharpest rate for more than 16 years, the latest survey by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) showed. It was the eighth successive month that the survey, which questions 700 firms, has shown a growth in new business.
But despite the extra work, there was only a small increase in employment.
Booming growth in the services sector, which makes up more than three-quarters of the economy, followed upbeat surveys of Britain's building sites and factories.
Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit, said it was another "stellar" performance from services firms.
Companies reported rising market confidence which helped turn inquiries into hard orders. Britain's housing market recovery also helped drive volumes, Markit said.
"The sector's recovery, which has been evident since the start of the year, has legs," said Mr Smith.
"With sister surveys for construction and manufacturing also signalling the continuation of substantial growth, the UK is well on course to register a strengthening of GDP growth over the third quarter.
"If activity and sales can maintain their current growth velocities, then higher payrolls and, just as important for many workers, increased wages, should hopefully follow suit," he added.
Employment stagnated in August, partly because companies were struggling to replace leavers. Price inflation grew at its slowest pace since May, and output charges rose modestly for the third consecutive month.
More than 50 per cent of firms surveyed forecast business expansion over the coming year.
David Noble, chief executive at CIPS, said: "Optimism abounds as the UK services sector, combined with manufacturing and construction, completes a glowing picture for the UK economy."
Comments are closed on this article.