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Business services' best quarter in 17 years

The CBI has reported that optimism in Britain's dominant services sector is buoyant following a strong summer period, with business and professional services companies reporting that they had their best ever period by value in the three months to August. Consumer services had their best period by this measure since May 2014. The CBI said businesses are still struggling with a skills shortage, but they are looking to invest in people and capital, especially in IT. The lobby group's survey of 176 firms showed that, out of business and professional services companies, 43% said business volumes were up compared with three months ago and 10% said they were down, giving a balance of 33%, lower than in the three months to May. Growth of business by value gave an unchanged reading of 37%. But a balance of firms reporting business values above normal was at a record 25%. Optimism was at its highest level since May 2014, with a reading of 32%. In the consumer services sector, a balance of 33% saw volumes rising, while value growth at 30% was the strongest since February this year. Optimism, with a reading of 37%, was at its strongest since August 2014.

 

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