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Surprise rise in UK output

Surprise rise in UK output

Category: Economy

Updated: 08/06/2009
First Published: 08/06/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

A rise in the output of the UK's private sector has been recorded for the first time in 13 months in May, according to the latest regional Purchasing Managers Index data.

Although the rate of expansion was described as marginal, it means activity has increased to its highest level since March last year.

Half of the UK's regions returned to growth, with southern England leading the way, although the actual month-on-month improvement was broadly based, the report showed.

Growth was strongest in the South West, London and the North West, with increased activity also recorded in Wales, Eastern England and the East Midlands.

In addition, the latest drop in workforce numbers were the least marked for seven months.

Despite the better news, Stephen Blackman, Senior Economic Advisor at RBS, said it was hard to escape the feeling that the UK economy's glass is half empty rather than half full.

"Demand is still very soft, as evidenced by the weakness of pricing power and the further decline in employment levels. Against this backdrop, the recent stabilisation will be as difficult to sustain as it was to achieve," he commented.

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