The services sector grew at the fastest pace for 16 years in the third quarter of the year, fuelling hopes that the overall economy is on a sustainable path to recovery.
There were similarly encouraging reports from the manufacturing and construction industries. Combined with strong performance from other sectors, economists suggested growth for the period of about 1.2% – a level not reached since the third quarter of 2007.
The services sector figures showed that increases in activity and new business saw a return to solid employment growth after a slowdown in August. Firms reported improved business confidence leading to a greater willingness to commit to new contracts.
David Noble, chief executive of the CIP, said: “After nearly six lost years of economic output, the UK economy looks to have really found its feet. The numbers reflect the stability we are currently seeing in the global economy, and the services sector is taking full advantage.”