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Growth accelerates in almost every corner of the UK

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 5 days ago By Tim Wallace
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Growth is on the up across almost the entire country as rising demand and low unemployment boosts the economy. It hit a nine-month high in October, according to Lloyds’ purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a survey of manufacturing and services businesses.

Nearly every region saw growth levels accelerate – and only in the South East of England, the East Midlands and in Northern Ireland did the rate of business growth actually slow down. However, even these regions have economies that are growing, just at a slightly slower pace.

The fastest growth came in Wales. Its PMI score rose to 58.6, its highest level in nine months and well above the 50-level which indicates growth. Next was the North West of England at 57.9, then the East of England at 57.3. The slowest pace of growth came in Scotland at 52.7, though that is still in positive territory and represents an acceleration on September’s growth rate.

Factory growth is rising particularly quickly, official figures showed last week 

“There was a broad-based increase in employment as firms responded to higher demand for goods and services, though the pace of job creation slowed for the second month running,” said Scott Barton at Lloyds. Official figures on Wednesday are expected to show another modest fall in unemployment, leaving the jobless rate steady at 4.3pc, which is its joint-lowest level in 42 years.

Mr Barton also said companies are still feeling the squeeze from higher prices.

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“Businesses are continuing to experience rising costs and will be wary of the impact on demand as they pass these on in the form of higher charges for goods and services,” he said. Data on inflation tomorrow is expected to show prices rose by 3.1pc over the 12 months to October, breaking the Bank of England’s target of keeping inflation within one percentage point of 2pc.

However, economists believe that will be the peak and price growth should start to slide later this year and into 2018.

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