Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Worst Signs of Recession Recede in West Midlands

By Ben Aulakh

Many businesses in the West Midlands grew steadily in the last two months as the worst effects of the recession showed signs of receding.

The Purchasing Managers Index survey has shown that companies from across the region in both the manufacturing and service sectors have seen a steady improvement in business in July and August.

A rise in business orders, higher output and an increase in jobs in the private sector economy are all signs that the region has begun to bounce back from the worst effects of the economic crisis.

Glynn Jones, Head of Economics and Strategy at Advantage West Midlands, said: “The PMI figures for July show the West Midlands economy performing strongly with manufacturing continuing to lead the way as the main driver of growth.

"Improving business conditions are reflected in the accelerated rises in business activity and new orders, with employment increasing - all at rates which exceed the UK average.”

July also represented the thirteenth month of continuous growth in many firms across the region, a marked improvement on the UK average.

Higher activity levels were also supported by another rise in new business placed with West Midlands companies in July with demand from new clients a key factor underpinning the stronger business figures.

However although staffing levels increased across the board in July, as manufacturers were hiring staff, service providers continued to cut jobs.

The overall increase in business stayed above the UK average with manufacturers reporting a much steeper rate of cost inflation than those in the service sector.

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