The UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the services sector shows modest growth in January.
Posting at 51.5, following December's first fall in activity for two years, business confidence was at its highest since May 2012 and the index reported the best gain in employment for six months.
David Noble, CIPS CEO said:
"We have recently come to expect a bounce in the services industry in the early months of the year, and 2013 is no different. The sector confounded the gloomy January weather and discovered a surprising return to form given its disappointing performance at the end of last year. Revivals in 2012 and 2012 dissipated pretty quickly, so firms will be hoping this is third time lucky and a stable foundation for growth.
"Better performance and an improvement in underlying economic conditions have fuelled a new-found confidence, encouraging businesses to increase prices to their greatest degree for over a year and a half. Employment also increased at its fastest rate for six months.
"Whether this positive start to the year can be sustained remains to be seen, but businesses are certainly optimistic of their own ability to maintain momentum, even if underlying economic conditions have not changed dramatically."
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