UK service sector continues to ‘expand strongly’

The Markit/CIPS Business Activity Index recorded 58.2 during February, with a reading above 50 indicating expansion.

Growth has now been recorded for 14 months backed by a high confidence in economic outlook and the strongest growth in employment in four months.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “The services economy notched up yet another month of robust growth in February, a performance that is all the more remarkable given the weather- related disruptions that have hit many businesses.

“Sustained strong growth in the services sector means it remains the most important driver of the economic recovery. Alongside vibrant growth in manufacturing and construction, the upbeat picture of the services economy points to the country enjoying another quarter of robust economic growth of approximately 0.7 per cent.”

David Noble, chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “The UK service sector maintained the lengthening trend of consistent growth and all the signs are this is set to continue, with confidence at a four-and-a- half year high.

“New clients have underpinned this optimism giving firms the platform to invest in new projects and jobs. Coupled with strong manufacturing and construction results, it seems all the fundamentals are in place to deliver further economic growth cementing the economic recovery.”

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