20 July 2016
Employment continues to grow, but underlying uncertainty remains.
Read the CBI/Pertemps Labour Market Update here.
28 August 2015
Service sector firms reported healthy growth in levels of business for the three months to August, with optimism improving at the fastest pace for a year, according to the latest quarterly CBI Service Sector Survey.
Both business volumes and values expanded in business & professional services - which includes accountancy, legal and marketing firms – and consumer services - which includes hotels, bars, restaurants, travel and leisure firms. Business and professional services reported that levels of business in value terms were significantly above normal - and a survey record high - reflecting the strongest growth in business volumes since 2001. Consumer services also reported a brisk increase in business volumes.
The survey of 176 firms highlighted a strong performance across the service sector with an expectation for similar results in the next quarter. Both sub-sectors recorded robust rises in profitability - underpinned by the growth in business volumes – and remain optimistic regarding their business situation.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director for Economics, said:
“After a weaker start to the year, the UK services sector is now seeing healthy growth across the board with firms becoming more profitable, driven by a surge in business volumes.
“Companies are still looking to invest in people and capital, especially in IT which will help them exploit new technology and boost productivity.
“But difficulties in finding staff with the right skills for firms to grow is a mounting concern, and with recent turbulence in the markets risk management skills are likely to be in demand.”
Firms in both sectors expect to raise investment spending over the next 12 months, with business and professional services firms in particular anticipating strong increases in IT investment, mainly to increase efficiency and exploit new technologies.
Evidence that the labour market is tightening continues to grow. Both sectors cited availability of professional staff as limiting business expansion to the greatest extent since prior to the financial crisis in 2008. Meanwhile, firms across the services sector reported strong growth in numbers employed, but recruitment is expected to be flat in consumer services over the coming quarter, and to slow somewhat in business and professional services.
Business and Professional Services
Notes to Editors:
The Service Sector Survey was conducted between 29th July and 14th August. 109 Business & Professional Services firms and 67 Consumer Services Firms replied.
14 July 2016
Our regular roundup of the key economic indicators
14 July 2016
Carolyn and Josh focus on post-referendum priorities during their Westminster rounds