UK private sector records its fastest growth in more than TWO DECADES as the British economy continues to bounce back from coronavirus crisis
- UK private sector has recorded its fastest growth in more than two decades
- Closely-watched study which started in 1998 has never recorded higher growth
- Suggests the UK economy continues to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis
The UK’s private sector has recorded its fastest growth in more than two decades as the British economy continues to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis.
The closely-followed IHS Markit/CIPS Flash UK Composite PMI report came in at 62 for May, up from a reading of 60.7 in April.
Any reading above 50 represents growth in output and the early economic data for this month suggests the UK has seen its strongest spike since the index began in 1998.
Experts said the latest report showed the UK is ‘enjoying an unprecedented growth spurt’.
The closely-followed IHS Markit/CIPS Flash UK Composite PMI report came in at 62 for the month, up from a reading of 60.7 in April – anything above 50 represents growth
The surging numbers come on the back of ‘strong’ growth in both the manufacturing and services sectors.
The easing of lockdown rules and pent-up demand from consumers has helped to spark a rise in employment.
Figures suggest there has been the fastest increase in private sector employment for more than six years.
The services sector – which includes hospitality firms which have benefited from eased restrictions this month – saw a reading of 61.8 for the months, marginally below analyst predictions.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing reading surged to 66.1, the highest figure since the survey began.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said: ‘The UK is enjoying an unprecedented growth spurt as the economy reopens.
‘Factory orders are surging at a record pace as global demand for goods continues to revive, and the service sector is reporting near-record growth as the opening up of the economy allows more businesses to trade.
‘Business confidence has meanwhile hit an all-time high as concerns about the impact of the pandemic continue to fade.’
However, the rebound also resulted in price inflation with costs pressures at ‘the strongest for nearly 13 years’.
Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, said: ‘Manufacturers keen to secure raw materials for the coming months were forward buying with greater intensity and contributing to the ongoing poor performance of supply chains as delivery times increased to record-levels.
‘This in turn compounded the number of shortages and impacted on the costs of goods and raw materials.’
Retail sales surged by 9.2 per cent in April as lockdown eased and shops reopened, official figures showed today
The report comes after official figures published this morning showed that retail sales surged by 9.2 per cent in April as lockdown restrictions were loosened and shops reopened.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics showed that clothing sales were up nearly three-quarters as consumers splashed out.
Overall volumes are now around 10 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.
ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: ‘Retail sales grew sharply in April and are now over 10 per cent above pre-pandemic levels as restrictions eased and more shops were able to open their doors.
‘Clothing sales soared by nearly three quarters as consumers took advantage of being able to visit physical stores. Perhaps unsurprisingly, overall online sales dipped, but still remain high.
‘Fuel sales increased again this month, but remain below pre-pandemic level as although more people are travelling, many are still working from home.’
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