The UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the services sector offers hope that the UK will avoid a triple-dip recession.
As business confidence hits a nine-month high, with sharpest rise in input costs for 14 months, the PMI posted at 51.8, slightly higher than the previous month's 51.5.
David Noble, CIPS CEO commented: "The services sector has a spring in its step having posted its best performance for five months. There are reasons for this optimism across the board, as a surge in new business bolstered by stronger client demand, have encouraged businesses to take on more staff. All of this has fostered a welcome return to confidence - the strongest for nine months.
"Increased costs, driven my macro-economic factors and causing firms to push up their prices marginally, were the exception to an otherwise positive February.
"The modest underlying improvement suggests we might be heading in the right direction at last. Whether this trajectory can be maintained, however, is another question entirely, given other sectors have not performed so well."
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