Monday 14 November 2016 1:00 am

Businesses give thumbs up to fourth quarter so far

Businesses across the country have reported a strong October, as they enter the final stretch of a somewhat unpredictable year.

The Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey, which was released today, found the UK's PMI had reached a nine-month high of 54.8, up from 53.9 in September, as demand floods in from overseas buyers looking to snap up deals created by the weaker pound. In England, PMI rose to 54.9, up from 54.

A PMI figure above 50 points to growth, whereas a number below 50 signals a contraction. 

However, the weaker pound has proved to be a double-edged sword, as prices have also risen at their fastest pace since 2011, pushing up firms' costs. 

Read more: Here's why the pound hasn't had much of a boost from Trump's win

And, although businesses across the country performed strongly, London lagged behind, with PMI for the capital dropping to a two-month low of 52.8, compared with September's 54.3.

"It's encouraging to see UK business activity growth back at the same, higher levels we had at the start of the year, driven by demand both at home and overseas," said Tim Hinton, managing director, mid-markets and SME banking, Lloyds Banking Group. "However, prices are rising at their fastest rate for over five years and the likelihood of greater inflationary pressure is very real.

"This will create potential headwinds for both consumers and businesses going forward."