The Markets


The UK’s services sector has expanded at its fastest pace since December 2006, a survey has indicated.

The Markit/CIPS Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 60.2 in July from 56.9 the month before, a stronger showing than economists had expected.

Any reading above 50 indicates growth!

The numbers complete a trio of positive PMI figures for July, after strong showings in both the construction and manufacturing sectors last week.

Markit said its UK All Sector PMI, which combined the three, was 59.48, the highest since its records began in January 1998.

Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit, said indications were that there would be a “further strengthening of GDP” in the third quarter of the year, “as the UK heads towards ‘escape velocity’ and self-sustaining economic expansion”.

The latest UK services figure contrasts with data from the eurozone services sector, which showed a contraction at 49.8.

Despite the upbeat UK figures the FTSE index of leading blue-chip stocks was virtually unchanged in early afternoon trade.