The services sector saw a "welcome rebound" last month but construction industry continues to suffer a downturn, writes John Millington.
The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers index (PMI) for services activity, in which a reading above 50 represents growth, came in at 53.7 in August, up from 51.0 the previous month, its highest reading since March.
The survey, released early yesterday after it was accidentally published, follows disappointing construction figures and improved data for the manufacturing sector.
Survey compiler Markit chief economist Chris Williamson claimed the news would add to hopes that the economy will pull out of recession despite a 0.5 per cent contraction seen in the second quarter.
The figures will likely restrain the Bank of England from unleashing additional emergency support for the economy later this week.
The construction industry shrank by 10 per cent in the first half of 2012 and continues to be the main drag on the economy.