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UK Economy Strengthening As Services Exports Surge

Increasing signs the British economy could beat growth forecasts and see a firm revival this year were reported recently by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The proportion of UK services companies reporting rising exports rose to a record high in the second quarter. The balance of exports for services rose to 36pc between April and June, the highest since the survey began in 1989. This figure is the difference between the percentage of companies with rising and falling exports.

Further evidence of a strengthening economy came from a UK factory index which reached a two-year high. The gauge rose in June to 52.5 from 51.5 in May, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply reported recently. The figure is above the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction.

Consumer Confidence Rises to Two-Year High

Consumer confidence rose to its highest in more than two years this month as a brightening economy made people more willing to spend on big-ticket items.

A consumer sentiment index by GfK NOP Ltd. gained one point to minus 21, the best reading since May 2011, the London-based group said in a report published today. A gauge of the economic outlook for the coming year climbed 2 points to minus 16. A measure of whether now is the right time to make major purchases jumped 5 points to minus 20.

Financial Firms Seen Hiring Again

Financial firms may hire in the third quarter after cutting an estimated 10,000 jobs in the three months through June, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

Banks, insurers and asset managers may add about 1,000 positions in the coming three months, Britain’s biggest business lobby group and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said in a study published recently.

UK Construction Growth Accelerates

UK construction expanded for a second month and at the fastest rate since May 2012 as new orders rose to the highest in 13 months.

The index of activity, from Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, rose to 51 in June from 50.8 in May, which is above the 50 mark that divides expansion from contraction.