Business activity growth thrives in September

Business activity across England and Wales continued to prosper in the month of September, a report has revealed.

The Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey, conducted by Lloyds Bank, found that England’s average PMI measured at 54.0 in September, its highest reading since January this year.

The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI is based on responses from businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors about the value of goods and services produced during September compared with a month earlier.

A reading above 50 signifies expansion, while a reading below signifies contraction.

The strongest performers were found in the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber, peaking at 55.6 PMI. The weakest region, while still showing signs of expansion, was found in the South East at 51.6 PMI.

Wales also saw a rise in business activity in September, outperforming all English regions, with its PMI reading at a 15-month high of 56.2.

Tim Hinton, a Managing Director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “After weaker activity was recorded in the early summer, it is encouraging to see a positive end to the third quarter, reflecting growth in new orders and employment.”

“The weaker pound remains a focal point in the survey data. Improved competitiveness has no doubt given added impetus to the post-EU referendum rebound, but increasingly businesses are feeling the impact of higher import costs.”