... but total London hiring rises as new orders go up


ATE sector growth is accelerating in London, with the Lloyds TSB London business activity index showing new business inflows rising.

The index rose from 53.7 in August to 54.4 in September, though it remains lower than the 59.5 seen in July. Any number above 50 indicates expansion.

A small rise in employment was also recorded among the manufacturing and service sector firms surveyed, as a result of that higher level of business.

However, growth may be being held back by the broader economic picture.

“Despite a strong rise in new order intakes, firms added to their workforce numbers at only a marginal rate amid uncertainty over the economic outlook,” said Lloyds TSB’s Neil Mahoney.

Input prices continued to rise, though at a lower rate, whilst “strong competitive pressures forced firms to lower output prices for the first time in 21 months”, said Mahoney.