Stronger demand for goods and services boosted business activity growth at the end of the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest Lloyds Bank purchasing managers’ survey published this week.
Employment has continued to rise, but at a slower rate than February. This reduced appetite for businesses’ to hire new staff could be attributed to the fact that the period also saw the "biggest rise in average prices charged” in almost six years.
The survey, a leading economic health-check of regions across England and Wales, is based on businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors. A reading greater than 50 signifies growth in business activity, while a reading below 50 signifies a contraction in business activity.
The strongest regional growth was found in the East of England (58.0), the North West (57.5) and Yorkshire & Humber (57.2).
Despite being last month's weakest performer, London also rebounded in March, seeing its fastest rise in business activity for over a year (56.4).
At Beavis Morgan, we work with businesses across a range of industries, including the manufacturing and services sectors, helping them with strategic planning, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.