Latest Public Sector News

04.04.13

Services sector shows slight growth

The construction sector has contracted for the past three months, but the services sector is up, a Markit/CPIS PMI shows.

Construction was up to 47.2 in March from 46.8 in February, under the 50 level which separates contraction from expansion. This was very slightly below forecasts for 47.5, but the decline in new orders was least sharp since October, and house building grew at the fastest rate since May 2012.

The services sector expanded at the fastest rate since last August, from 51.8 in February to 52.4 in March.

Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, said: “A gathering upturn in the service sector in March looks to have helped the UK avoid a triple-dip recession by the narrowest of margins.

“However, the weakness of private-sector growth signalled by the PMI data in the first quarter means that a flat GDP picture or even a decline could be seen if government sector output falls.”

The ONS is set to release an early estimate of economic growth in the first quarter later this month.

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