UK sees strongest new business growth in service sector for 16 years

Great news for the UK service sector this August, as the latest data from Markit shows that activity in the sector is growing at its fastest pace since December 2006.

The purchasing managers' index rose from 60.2 to 60.5, despite an expected slowing in expansion to 59.0.

New business growth also grew at the fastest rate in 16 years. The survey also showed the greatest rise in backlogs since February 2000.

Paul Smith, senior economist at survey compilers Markit:

The UK service sector turned in another stellar performance in August, building on the growth momentum seen during July.

Moreover, the sector’s recovery, which has been evident since the start of the year, has legs.

With sister surveys for construction and manufacturing also signalling the continuation of substantial growth, the UK is well on course to register a strengthening of GDP growth over Q3 as a whole following the 0.7% q/q increase in Q2.