SJD Accountancy

UK Contractor: Business activity and employment levels rise once again

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Contractors will be pleased to hear that both business activity and employment levels have risen again across England and Wales.

The Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) shows that manufacturers and service providers recorded a strong end to Q2 of 2014, with job creation and higher levels of business activity driven by stronger customer spending patterns.

Businesses cited improving economic conditions as a reason for their growth, combined with greater optimism in consumer spending and the wider economic outlook.

Companies across the North East (64.8) saw the strongest output expansion, followed by those based in the South West (59.4).

In Wales, the business activity index picked up from the four-month low seen in May (58.2) to reach 59.3 in June.

Smaller companies, such as Limited company contractors, will be interested to hear that strong new business growth was maintained across England and Wales in June, with London the best performing region in terms of new business gains.  This is the strongest expansion in 2014 so far.

Sustained rises in business activity and new orders over the first half of the year led to the private sector recruiting more staff in England and Wales.

According to Lloyds Bank findings, London (59.7), the East of England (59.6), the South East (58.9), Yorkshire & Humber (58.5) and the West Midlands (57.2) all saw the strongest rise in staff numbers for over 13 years during June.

Tim Hinton, Managing Director, SME & Mid Markets Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, commented on the findings, “June’s survey rounds off a strong second quarter for both manufacturing and services companies with robust improvements in overall business conditions and an encouraging rise in employment levels.

“Efforts to boost capacity and investment spending indicate that businesses are increasingly confident that economic conditions will continue to improve in the second half of the year.”

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