Britain’s recovery picks up pace as the service sector puts on a spurt

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The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers index hit 58.9 in March, up from 56.7 in February and its highest for seven months.

“The UK economy moved up a gear in March,” said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

“Faster growth of new business and improved expectations of prospects for the year ahead also bode well for the upturn to retain strong momentum as we move through the spring.”


Markit said there was a particularly strong increase in new rather than repeat business from businesses it surveyed.

Taken with strong manufacturing and construction data from last week, today’s news suggests that overall growth in the first quarter was ahead of the final three months of last year.

Williamson said first-quarter GDP probably grew by 0.7% against 0.6% last year. Official growth figures are due to be published the week before the general election.

A composite of PMIs for the eurozone showed a similar, if more sluggish, tale of growth in the first quarter with Markit estimating that GDP for the region grew by 0.3% in the first quarter.

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April 7, 2015 |
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