Study sheds light on regional trends in business growth

A new study has revealed the fastest-growing regions across the UK in terms of business activity, employment and economic growth.

Lloyds Bank’s regional purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which has long been considered one of the UK’s leading economic health-checks, found that business activity across England and Wales rose at its fastest rate for 18 months in December 2016.

According to the report, ‘most regions’ recorded strong and accelerated growth towards the close of 2016, with the East of England, South West England and the West Midlands ranking among the fastest-growing economic regions.

Meanwhile, in the City of London, business activity enjoyed the fastest period of growth in December since the beginning of 2016.

Tim Hinton, Managing Director of Mid-Markets and SME Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Business activity accelerated in December, showing the largest rise in 18 months and the index almost 10 points above the 2016 low of 47.4.

“The healthier order books suggest that the economy is starting 2017 with good momentum, but businesses will continue to be mindful of inflation and sustained pressure on their costs”.

Inflation of prices charged for goods and services across the UK rose at its fastest rate since May 2011 in December, Lloyds’ report found.

The full PMI report can be accessed here.