The UK service sector grew at the fastest rate since 2013 in April as the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues apace.
The UK Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for services rose to 61 in April, up from 56.3 in March. Any score above 50 indicates growth.
It beat flash estimates of a reading of 60.1.
The data is yet more evidence that the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19 is proceeding quicker than expected.
Job creation accelerated at the fastest rate since October 2015 last month, as firms took on more and more staff to handle the post-lockdown boom.
Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey: “April data illustrates that a surge of pent up demand has started to flow through the UK economy following the loosening of pandemic restrictions, which lifted private sector growth to its highest since October 2013.
“The roadmap for reopening leisure, hospitality and other customer-facing activities resulted in a sharp increase in forward bookings and new project starts across the service sector.
“If the rebound in order books continues along its recent trajectory during the rest of the second quarter, then service sector output growth looks very likely to surpass the survey-record high seen back in April 1997.
Alongside the increase in activity, input prices rose at their fastest rate for four years, adding weight to economists’ concerns of increased inflation due to the rapid recovery.
Later this morning the Bank of England will publish revised forecasts for the UK’s GDP growth this year, with policymakers expected to hike the rate of growth from 5.0 per cent to 7.0 per cent.
Earlier this week manufacturing data showed that the sector was growing at the fastest rate in 27 years due to the bounce back from the pandemic.