By Maximilian Clarke

The UK’s services sector increased its rate of growth, with a reading of 52.1 the latest Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply purchasing managers’ index.

The monthly index- the most authoritative of its kind, confirms increased growth within the dominant sector for the second month, despite the backdrop of economic and political instability across the eurozone’s peripheries.

“The services sector is not giving up without a fight, it seems, and the UK now boasts the fastest growing services sector in Europe,” commented Jeremy Cook, Chief Economist at World First forex brokers, before adding: “although this is hardly difficult given the problems on the continent.”

“We are unsure how much of this increase is as a result of pre-Christmas sales on the high street, as this will simply drag demand forward from later in the year.

A host of increasingly bleak economic indicators in recent months, coupled with eurozone instability had led to many economists predicting a contraction in the UK economy; however the past month’s services growth makes this unlikely, as Cook explains:

“That being said, this number does solidify expectations that Q4 GDP in the UK is unlikely to be negative, but we should not expect any great strides either.

“Our expectation is for growth figure of 0.1% in the last quarter of 2011.”

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