Index shows slight dip in business growth in south

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BUSINESS activity in the south east lost momentum in August.

According to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index, a economic health-check of UK regions, any reading that measures greater than 50.0 means growth in business activity.

The South-East PMI registered an 11-month low of 53.3 in August compared to 54.1 in July. Despite the decline, August did see an increase in job creation.

The dip could be a result of business input costs increasing, which resulted in higher prices charged for goods and services during the period.

Phil Kirk, regional director for SME banking in the south east at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: ‘The region experienced its weakest growth since September, 2016 and performed poorly compared to the rest of the country.

‘Sterling’s weakness stimulated demand from overseas, but it also continued to impact the spending power of firms and their customers.

‘On the bright side, businesses continued to recruit at the fastest pace since April.’