UK services see fastest growth since March 2011

New data shows the UK's service sector at its highest growth level since March 2011, according to Markit (release).

The services purchasing manager's index (PMI) shot up from 54.9 to 56.9, defying analyst predictions of a deterioration to 54.5. The improvement was supported by the strongest gain in new business since June 2007.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compilers Markit:

The buoyant picture for June means the economy is on course to expand by at least 0.5% in the second quarter, with more growth to come. New orders and job creation across all sectors are now rising at the fastest rates for almost six years, led by the vast services economy, boding well for robust growth momentum to be sustained as we move into the second half of the year.

Martin Beck, UK economist, Capital Economics:

Alongside yesterday’s positive BCC survey, which pointed to even stronger quarterly growth of close to 1%, evidence that a recovery in the economy may be finally taking root is becoming more telling. Admittedly, the recovery still faces some headwinds, but, for now at least, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

On Monday, we saw the UK's manufacturing sector is growing at its fastest pace since February 2011.