Survey sees rise in activity

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BUSINESSES in the south east saw a strong rise in activity, but also faced one of the highest rises in costs since the recession in February, according to the latest Lloyds Bank UK Regional PMI survey.

Rising demand for goods and services fuelled growth, with south east PMI registering 55.9 in February, up from 55.3 in January – above 50 signifies expansion in business activity.

Increasing raw material costs, worsened by a weak pound, led to a steep rise in average prices charged for goods in February.

Strong new business pipelines, however, meant south east firms were optimistic about growth prospects, recording the third-highest confidence of any region across the UK.

The survey is based on responses from manufacturers and service providers about the volume of goods and services produced in February.