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Growth in UK Services Sector

A new survey has suggested that the UK’s services sector grew during March with an increase in the amount of jobs created.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has seen a rise of 1.5 points from 53.8 to 55.3. Any level of 50 or higher indicates expansion.

It follows similarly strong March surveys from the manufacturing and construction sectors with the data seeming to point at first-quarter UK economic growth of 0.5%.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said:

“Faster growth of services activity in March indicates that the economy is on the up again, skirting recession as business continues to bounce back from the lull seen late last year.”

The services sector – which dominates the UK economy – recorded its 15th consecutive month of expansion, according to the surveys, and its strongest quarter since spring 2011.

In other encouraging signs, the survey suggested that jobs were being created in the sector at their fastest pace in four years, with businesses optimistic about the outlook for the next 12 months.

Earlier this week, a separate PMI survey showed manufacturing sector growing at its fastest pace for 10 months in March, as factories cleared out a backlog of existing work and new orders also picked up.