Services, manufacturing and construction are all showing expansion, according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index produced by Markit in association with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “The three PMI surveys for the UK collectively indicated the fastest rate of economic growth at the start of 2012 since last March, with the combined Output Index rising for the third month running from 53.2 in December to 55.5. As such, the surveys suggest that the pace of GDP growth may have picked up to approximately 0.5 per cent in January.
“The pace of UK economic growth picked up momentum at the start of 2012, with businesses reporting the largest increase in activity for ten months. The data fuel hopes that the UK economy may avoid a slide back into recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline – following a 0.2 per cent contraction of gross domestic product in the final quarter of last year.”