U.K. growth hit a seven-year high in August as the ease of lockdowns helped companies, the flash Purchasing Managers’ Index data released on Friday showed.
The Composite PMI climbed to 60.3 in August from 57.0 in July, supported by the advance in the Services PMI to a six-year high of 60.1, compared to a previous of 56.5. The manufacturing gauge also widened expansion to 55.3, the highest level in 30 months, from 53.3.
However, companies continued to shed jobs, reflecting the deterioration in the labor market, where the recovery in August still did not make up the sharp contraction in April when the economy was shut down.
“Survey respondents often noted that it could take more than a year to return output to pre-pandemic levels and there were widespread concerns that the honeymoon period for growth may begin to fade through the autumn months,” said Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit.
In the euro area, the pace of growth in business activity slowed to 51.6 from July’s reading of 54.9 after slowdown in economic activity in both Germany and France.
As of 09:42 GMT, the British
pound was 0.05 percent up at 1.1140 versus the euro after finishing higher