Economic fears stoke slowdown in August

Julian Harris
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ONLY London and three other English regions recorded economic growth in August, according to a survey released this morning, with most areas of England either in stagnation or going backwards.

Growth came to a grinding halt across the UK as a whole, collapsing to an 28-month low of 50.6 in Lloyds TSB’s latest PMI reading – down from 54.4 in July.

Scores of 50 indicate economic stagnation, with growth represented by higher numbers.

“None of the English regions were immune to the fallout from weakening global economic conditions and the escalating euro area debt crisis,” commented John Maltby of Lloyds TSB Commercial.

Growth was still fastest in London, yet the capital suffered the steepest slowdown in the survey’s 15 year history – plummeting from 59.5 in July to 53.7.

“Anecdotal evidence from survey respondents suggested that rising concerns about the economic outlook had encouraged clients to delay spending decisions in August,” Lloyds reported.

The rate of new business growth in the capital still grew, but slowed from July’s 19-month high.

The south east excluding London stood still, printing 50 in the index, while the Midlands and the east of England recorded modest growth, according to the survey.

The economy contracted in the north west, north east, south west and Yorkshire & Humber.

Elsewhere in the UK, growth slowed in both Scotland (52.7) and Wales (52), while Northern Ireland’s economy contracted severely (40.7).