Business activity at record levels across the region
PUBLISHED: 19:01 13 August 2013 | UPDATED: 19:01 13 August 2013
More promising signs have emerged of the economic recovery as an influential survey reveals that business activity in the East of England has increased at the sharpest rate since its records began.
Lloyds TSB said its headline index covering all English regions rose to 60 last month, signalling the best growth since the survey began in January 2001. In Wales, a score of 57.6 was above the survey’s no change value of 50 for the 12th month in a row and the fastest growth since February 2010.
The rate of growth for English businesses was fastest in the North West (62.3), followed by London (61.8). Of the nine English regions, companies operating in the North East saw the least marked increase in business activity (56.4), but the rate of growth in that region still hit a 28-month high.
Meanwhile, a separate survey by accountants and business advisers BDO also highlighted an improvement in short-term business prospects. BDO’s Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations and reflects the current experience of UK businesses, climbed to a 26-month high of 96.8 in July up from 94.9 in June – a fifth consecutive monthly increase.
Steve Elsom, Area Director for East Anglia, Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, said that it was clear that, across the country, businesses and consumers alike were feeling more confident.
“The latest Lloyds TSB Purchasing Managers’ Index shows record-high results for the East of England in July,” he said.
“Business activity has not only increased for the eighth month in a row, but at the sharpest rate since the survey began in January 1997.
“According to our survey of companies in the region, firms in the East of England are seeing an increase in new orders driven by new customers and higher consumer spending.
“Some believe that the unusually hot weather may have given a boost to businesses, and this might be especially true for East Anglia’s many tourist firms. As a result of increased custom, almost a fifth of firms in the East of England have taken on new staff – higher than the UK average.”