04 October 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
A rise in new orders helped the UK services sector's strong performance last month.
The latest CIPS/RBS purchasing managers' index (PMI), in which a reading above 50 indicates growth, recorded 57.0 for September, up on August's figure of 56.7.
The new orders index posted a reading of 57.6, against 58.2 in August, and service providers remained confident that business would increase over the next 12 months. The business expectations index, posted a reading of 73.1, compared to 70.6 for August.
More staff were taken on to help with the increase in activity, the employment index came in at 54.2, in August it was 52.8.
Output prices rose to cope with ongoing high prices for fuel energy and utilities.
The average prices charged index was 54.8 for last month, compared with 55.4 in August. The input prices index stood at 61.0 for September, easing from 63.9 in August.
In the US, the Institute of Supply Management recorded a non-manufacturing PMI of 52.9 for September.
This represents an increase in activity for the 42nd consecutive month, but was at a slower rate than in August.
Coverage of previous months' PMI reports is available at www.supplymanagement.com/pmi
ISM reports are available at