Business group says services sector optimism is on the up

Adam Hignett
OPTIMISM in the services sector continued to rise in the three months to February, marking two years of consecutive rises according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The report said 26 per cent of firms were more optimistic than three months ago against five per cent who were less optimistic, leaving a positive balance of 21 per cent, its lowest since February 2013.

Optimism in professional services was 16 per cent.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI’s director for economics, said: “With the economic upswing now well entrenched, it’s no surprise that optimism is growing at slower rates than seen in the earlier phase of the UK’s upturn.”

The positive picture was slightly clouded by figures showing intensifying competition and increased costs resulted in increasingly squeezed profits for professional services, stunting the rate of further expansion.