UK Services Sector Shows Signs Of Stabilizing - CBI
First Published Tuesday, 29th May 2012 11:50 am - © 2012 Dow Jones
(This article was originally published Saturday.)
Dow Jones NEWSWIRES
LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Business conditions for the U.K. services sector are stabilizing, with companies expressing confidence that their prospects will improve despite a recession at home and strife in the euro zone, a survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Sunday.
The CBI's quarterly survey of the sector indicated that companies in both consumer services, which includes hotels, bars and restaurants, and in business and professional services, which covers accountancy, legal and marketing firms, expect activity to pick up in the next three months.
In consumer services, companies on the whole expect both the volume and value of transactions to increase in the next three months. The balance of companies expecting volumes to rise was plus-12%, the first time the balance has been positive since August 2010. The balance for growth in value of business was plus-22%, the highest since November 2007.
The balance measures the percentage of companies expecting improvement, minus the share that expect deterioration.
In professional services, companies had a positive balance for both volume and value, plus-4% and plus-7%, respectively, for the first time in a year.
The services sector is vital to the health of the U.K. economy as it makes up around three-quarters of gross domestic product. The sector has suffered in recent months as consumers reined in spending due to inflation, weak wage growth and uncertain economic conditions both domestically and stemming from the euro-zone crisis.
In the first quarter, the service sector barely grew, eking out growth of just 0.1%, according to official statistics released Thursday.
"Despite the continued uncertainty emanating from Europe, there are some signs that conditions in the U.K. services sector are beginning to improve slightly," said Ian McCafferty, the CBI's chief economic adviser.
The survey questioned 167 companies between April 27 and May 16.
-By Ainsley Thomson, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-20-7842-9318; email@example.com