04 January 2007 | Paul Snell
Activity in the services sector reached its highest level since 1997 last month, according to the latest CIPS/RBS purchasing managers index.
The index, where a reading above 50 represents growth, reached 60.6 in December, up from November's reading of 59.8. A strong demand for services and an increase in advertising and promotional work attributed to the expansion.
The rate of new business growth slowed slightly compared with November. New orders reached 59.5 in December, less than the previous month's figure of 60.0
Employment increased again in December, registering its highest level in nine years. The reading of 56.0 was attributed to the creation of more jobs to avoid work backlogs.
Outstanding business also grew, but was down from November's figure of 53.1, to 52.8 in December.