Service sector growth runs away in April

The UK’s service sector has finally picked up after a miserable start to the year, a new study has revealed.

The research, published by IHS Markit, found that the industry grew to 55.8 points.

Anything above 50 on its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) represents growth.

However, Markit also revealed that prices charged by the sector grew at their fastest rate since July 2008.

The boost suggests that, along with growth in the construction and manufacturing industries, the economy will grow at twice the pace than that of the three months previous.

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said: “The upturn in the services PMI rounds off a hat-trick of good news after upside surprises to both the manufacturing and construction PMIs.

“The three surveys collectively point to GDP growing at a rate of 0.6 per cent at the start of the second quarter.

“While we expect consumer spending to slacken in coming months, with the April survey highlighting continued weakness in sectors such as hotels, restaurants and other household-facing businesses, there’s good reason to believe that at least 0.4 per cent GDP growth can be achieved in the second quarter as a whole.”

Commenting on the study, Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, added: “The UK’s biggest sector started Q2 in stellar fashion with the strongest performance so far this year and with new business growth riding high.”