London leads a bounceback in business activity in August

Ben Southwood
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LONDON drove a recovery in business activity during August, a business survey revealed today, as declines across England and Wales were arrested and reversed.

Activity bounced back convincingly, according to Lloyds TSB's regional purchasing managers' index (PMI), with the UK recording a score of 52.7 in August – up from 49.5 in July, and above the no change level of 50.

Within this overall index, London jumped 1.6 to 54.9, a five month high, leading the country's expansion in activity. London was already expanding business activity in July, as were the West and East Midlands, but Yorkshire, the South East and West, the East, North West and North East all reversed July declines to expand modestly.

But a survey by BDO suggested that the business confidence had slumped to the lowest level since records began 20 years ago, and at 89.1 is well below the 95 mark that BDO says is consistent with growth.