Britain’s economy is steaming ahead – by one measure faster than any other large developed or emerging economy – but history suggests it will struggle to sustain the rapid growth indicated in business and confidence surveys.
Data this week showed British businesses were at the forefront of Europe’s nascent economic recovery, outpacing major euro zone peers that are still grappling for momentum.
British services companies enjoyed their fastest growth since December 2006 in August, according to purchasing managers’ surveys, while housing market activity is gaining, and consumer sentiment is at its highest in almost four years.
Of particular note was the Markit/CIPS UK services PMI, closely watched as a barometer for economic growth, unsurpassed by equivalent surveys in any of its G20 peers.
The index topped the 60 mark – far above the 50 threshold for growth – for the second month in a row. The last time that happened was in 1997.