Recession fears fade as UK services sector sees best result in 20 years of figures
The UK’s dominant services industry rebounded sharply in August, according to a closely-watched survey. The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index showed activity in UK services saw its largest month-on-month rise in the survey’s history.
The index rose from 47.4 in July to 52.9 in August. A score above 50 indicates expansion. It adds to recoveries in manufacturing and construction to suggest “recession will be avoided”, Markit said.
The pound rose sharply after the report was released, jumping 0.6% against the dollar to $1.3366.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at Markit, said it remained too early to say whether August’s upturn was the “start of a sustained post-shock recovery, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to indicate that the initial shock of the June vote has begun to dissipate”.
He added: “Many companies are seeing business return to normal either simply by customer confidence rising or a stoic determination to ‘Buck Brexit’ and carry on regardless.”
The UK services industry, which includes financial services through to cafes and shops, accounts for about 80% of the UK economy.