The UK's services industry has seen a huge boost, with services PMI for October flying past expectations at 62.5 - the highest rise in activity since May 1997. Expectations were 60.4, from September's 60.3.
The sharp rise was supported by a strong increase in new work, with backlogs of work and employment both increasing markedly.
Service sector activity has risen continuously throughout 2013 to date and generally at an accelerated rate. This has largely been the result of rising levels of incoming new business placed with service providers as market sentiment has improved in line with a strengthened economic climate.
The buoyant survey data are likely to encourage the Bank of England to raise its forecasts for economic growth when it publishes its new projections in November. The Bank is also likely to bring forward its expectation of when unemployment will fall below seven per cent, the threshold needed to be reached before the Bank will consider raising interest rates.