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Pick-up in new business in the region despite uncertain times

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Private sector activity in the East of England picked up in July helped by the fastest rise in new business in 2019 although firms were less confident on the outlook for the coming 12 months than in June, according to a key survey of purchasing managers.

The NatWest East of England business activity index rose to 51.6 in July from 51.3 in June; the second month running that private output has risen in the region although it remains below its long term average. Employment also rose solidly - albeit more slowly than in June - while input price inflation slowed to a three-year low. Although modest, the rate of expansion in the East of England was stronger than all other UK regions except Wales and London.

Uncertainty over Brexit meant the 12-month outlook for business activity was the weakest since February. John Maude, NatWest Midlands & East regional board, said: “A key standout of the latest survey was the fastest increase in new business of the year so far, which justified another solid rise in employment. But the 12-month outlook remains clouded by Brexit uncertainty, as the future activity index weakened to the lowest since February.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 August 2019 07:19 )