Triple-dip fears ease as retail sector improves

The services sector continued to rebound. Picture: PA
The services sector continued to rebound. Picture: PA
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HOPES that Britain can avoid a triple-dip recession were given a boost today as new figures show that the powerhouse services sector continued to rebound last month.

The latest Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed an overall reading of 51.8 in February - the fastest rise in activity in five months.

It came as welcome news after gloomy construction figures yesterday showed the sector endured its worst month since October 2009 and manufacturing PMI figures for February revealed a shock drop in activity.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compilers Markit, said: “Faster growth of the dominant services sector offset downturns in manufacturing and construction during February, meaning the economy is likely to have grown for a second successive month after the downturn late last year.”