The UK is set to avoid falling back into recession, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The BCC believes a strong performance by Britain’s service industries during the first three months of the year has kept the economy growing. But a separate business survey suggests any recovery has not included the UK’s manufacturers. The Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index suggests the sector continued to shrink last month. The index registered negative growth for the second month running, and output fell at its fastest rate since October.
The decline was blamed on tough market conditions, subdued confidence and bad weather. The BCC’s survey, which included more than 7,000 firms, found that conditions for both the services and manufacturing sectors were improving, but the services sector saw some of the biggest improvements, with strong domestic sales and exports.
Services account for about three-quarters of the UK economy, while manufacturing makes up about a fifth of GDP.