Service sector shows growth at end of 2011

The UK’s service sector saw its fastest expansion since July at the end of 2011, new research has found.

The Markit/CIPs index rose to 54 in December, increasing from 52 in November, which exceeded forecasts of 51.5 as retail sales over Christmas had been rumoured not to be as strong as in previous years. A figure of 50 or above indicates growth.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said that December’s figures showed the sector was in fairly good health and successfully helping to counteract recent downturns in Manufacturing and Construction.

The service sector account for approximately three-quarters of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and often indicates the general health of the UK’s economy.

However businesses are still increasingly worried about 2012, “Companies are increasingly worried about the coming year, suggesting that the upturn may prove short-lived as we move into 2012.” Williamson said.

As the news of the Service sector’s growth was revealed, the pound stayed at a 14-month high versus the Euro, as the new year showed early positive signs.