Service sector firms are feeling bullish about their prospects following a second successive quarter of solid growth in activity, according to the CBI’s quarterly Service Sector Survey.
In the three months to November, optimism across the sector as a whole increased at the strongest pace since the start of the survey in 1998, while business volumes rose at the quickest rate since November 2007. Against this backdrop, the rise in headcount also reached a six-year high.
Consumer services firms reported particularly strong activity in the quarter to November. The business and professional services sector, meanwhile, saw business volumes expand for a second successive quarter, but less quickly than had been expected.
Stephen Gifford, CBI director of economics, said: “Business activity is up, more people are being employed, and optimism is rising fast. There are encouraging signs that the recovery is taking hold across the service sector.”