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Preparing for growth

On the whole, the outlook is positive and we are starting to see green shoots emerging in many sectors across the UK.

The services industry, which accounts for around 75% of the economy has reported a rise in growth, pushing the CIPS Services Purchasing Manager’ Index to 52.9% - the highest reading since August last year.

We are also expecting growth in the recruitment industry with an increased number of employers planning to take on new staff within the next 12 months. A recruitment drive within the public sector has also helped to refresh the jobs market, particularly within the health and education sectors.

Industry snapshots

Here’s a snapshot of industry news, drawn from our independently held Barometer survey.

Manufacturing and engineering Print and packaging
Britain’s manufacturing sector may finally be emerging from the recession after recording its best performance in 14 months in May. The outlook is positive for the printing and packaging sector with nearly a fifth stating that they’re benefitting from the current climate.
Recruitment Services
A surge in public sector recruitment has given a fresh stimulus to the jobs market, pushing the growth in employment to a five-year high. The UK services sector grew by its fastest rate in eight months in April. The Markit/CIPA Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the UK rose to 52.9 – the highest reading since August last year.
Transport and haulage Wholesale and distribution
Figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that growth in haulage rates slowed in the first quarter of 2013. Figures from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer reveal that the crisis in the Eurozone and government legislation are the main barriers to growth.

The UK wholesale and distribution sector is on the road to recovery - the sector’s 2013 output forecast for investment goods has increased to 3%, whilst 36% of firms in the sector are anticipating growth in the next 12 months.


*The Close Brothers Business Barometer is conducted on a quarterly basis. It canvasses the opinion of SME owner managers on a range of issues affecting their business.

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