Britain’s services sector enjoyed a rise in activity last month and hired more staff to cope with rising workloads, according to a survey on Tuesday.
The pickup for the biggest part of the economy, covering banks to hotels, follows upbeat surveys on the smaller manufacturing and construction sectors and reinforced the view the UK recovery will maintain its momentum over coming months. That will intensify the debate about whether the Bank of England will consider raising interest rates sooner than the markets have been expecting, and perhaps even before the end of this year.
“The UK economic recovery shows no signs of running out of steam, and growth could even accelerate further in the second quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compilers Markit.
“The survey also brings news that private sector employment rose at a record pace in April, signalling 100,000 jobs being created each month.”
The headline reading on the Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI poll rose to 58.7, beating City forecasts and signalling the fastest growth in activity so far this year.
The reading was well above the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction and compared with a consensus forecast for it to hold at March’s 57.6 in a Reuters poll of economists.
via The Guardian