In another indicator that the UK’s business recovery is picking up pace, it has been reported that output across numerous sectors reached a six-month high in March.
According to Bank of Scotland’s UK recovery tracker, 11 of the UK’s 14 business sectors showed an increase in their output, compared to just six the previous month.
Clear demand for British technology
Among the strongest performers during the month were technology equipment manufacturers, which recorded a reading of 69.7, and metals and mining products, which reported 64.3. They were followed by transport operators, at 62.8.
A reading of more than 50 indicates that output is on the up, while a reading below 50 signals that output is falling.
This marked the second consecutive month in which the manufacturing of technology equipment recorded the highest output growth. It is a clear vote of confidence in the sector, with international demand for components increasing at the quickest rate for over seven years.
Services sectors are also mounting a comeback
Such healthy demand for British technology helped firms in this sector to outperform services businesses for the 13th month in a row. The gap between them in March wasn’t as wide as in previous months, however, as a greater number of UK services sectors showed signs of growth.
Of those services sectors, the most impressive performer during March was transport, which saw its output rise at its fastest pace since January 2017. This is in sharp contrast to the situation as recently as January this year, when a 31.5 reading showed major contraction.
Companies believed the resurgence was attributable to a combination of bookings for domestic travel ahead of lockdown conditions easing, and an increase in bookings for travel abroad.
Meanwhile, UK software services recorded a 56.6 output reading, and for industrial services, it was 60.5.
An ever-more positive picture compared to the rest of the world
The increasing number of sectors showing an increase in output in March meant that the pace of the UK’s economic recovery was above the global benchmark for the first time in six months.
The tracker indicated that 10 of the 14 sectors were ahead of their counterparts in other countries, up from just two in February.
12 of the 14 sectors also recorded higher job creation during the month, as lockdown restrictions lifted – the most positive numbers since July 2018.
“Confidence for a sharp upturn ahead”
Jeavon Lolay, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s head of economics and market insight, commented: “The UK’s recovery is clearly accelerating, as the economy continues to open up after a tough lockdown and optimism builds.”
Scott Barton, managing director for corporate and institutional coverage at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: “Business activity is clearly more upbeat than expected and offers confidence for a sharp upturn ahead.
“The situation will be a considerable relief, especially for the hardest-hit sectors of the economy which hopefully stand to play a leading role in the recovery – the fact that the majority of sectors reported increased hiring is another very promising sign for the outlook.”
How well-placed is your business for post-lockdown success?
Such statistics as the above can only be encouraging ones for businesses up and down the UK. Furthermore, here at TS Partners, we’re proud to be doing our bit to aid that recovery, with our highly regarded accounting services in Wellington and Plymouth.
Reach out to us now for a more in-depth discussion about how we could help your business to more effectively manage its finances throughout 2021 and beyond, with our innovative digital accounting and specialist tax solutions.
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