Split in service industry as confidence takes a hit

Britain's service sector saw a divergence between the performance of business and consumer-facing companies over the summer, while overall optimism fell away, according to the latest quarterly report from the CBI.

Bars and restaurants saw modest growth, while volumes at law firms and accountants were flat. Picture: TSPL

Business and professional services firms – which include accountancy, legal and marketing outfits – reported that business volumes were unchanged on the quarter, after rising in May. Meanwhile, consumer services firms, including hotels, bars, restaurants, travel and leisure operators, saw further moderate growth in volumes.

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Economy stutters as EU uncertainty hits service sector

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In the first quarterly CBI service sector snapshot since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, optimism in both sub-sectors fell sharply.

Anna Leach, the business body’s head of economic analysis and surveys, said: “To shore up confidence across the economy, the government must clearly communicate plans for negotiations to leave the EU.”