The UK services sector has recorded its fastest growth for almost a year, a survey suggests.
The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) hit 60.5 in August, up from 59.1 in July. Any score above 50 indicates expansion.
But a similar survey suggested that growth in the eurozone’s services and manufacturing sectors slowed.
Experts said this would put pressure on the European Central Bank to act at its meeting on Thursday.
The UK PMI survey represented the sharpest rise in business activity in the service sector since October last year.
Demand remained strong with marketing activity increasing as a result, it found.
There were, however, concerns about future levels of business, leading to a fall in overall business confidence to a 15-month low.
Earlier this week, the PMI survey of the manufacturing industry showed the sector grew at its slowest pace in 14 months.
“An acceleration of growth in the vast services sector and an on-going construction boom offset a weakened performance in manufacturing in August,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
He said the services and manufacturing data suggested the UK economy was on course to post “strong” economic growth in the current quarter, in line with the 0.8% recorded in the first two quarters of this year.
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