Service sector registers strongest performance for two years

The UK’s services industry has posted its best growth figures since the end of the summer of 2007, a new survey has claimed.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) reported that its latest index, a measure of orders, output and confidence, climbed to 56.9 in October, up from 55.3 in the previous month.

The new figure marks the highest point achieved by the purchasing managers’ index since August 2007.

This is the sixth consecutive month in which the index has come in above 50, the point that divides growth from contraction.

New business increased for the fourth month on the trot and at a pace not seen since September 2007.

“Growth of new orders in October was linked to generally higher market demand,” the report noted. “Previously delayed expenditure was now being released by clients, in line with growing market confidence.”

Jobs continued to be lost in the sector but at the slowest rate for just over a year, the report also found.