Latest data released by Markit/CIPS - 6 May 2021

  • Composite PMI 60.7 vs 60.0 prelim

The preliminary report can be found here. The headline is the highest since October 2013 with upward revisions bolstering the optimistic narrative as the UK begins to reopen its economy with looser restrictions seen in April.

Of note, there were sharp increases seen in business and consumer spending with employment growth also accelerating to its fastest since October 2015.

Markit notes that:

"April data illustrates that a surge of pent up demand has started to flow through the UK economy following the loosening of pandemic restrictions, which lifted private sector growth to its highest since October 2013. The roadmap for reopening leisure, hospitality and other customer-facing activities resulted in a sharp increase in forward bookings and new project starts across the service sector. If the rebound in order books continues along its recent trajectory during the rest of the second quarter, then service sector output growth looks very likely to surpass the survey-record high seen back in April 1997.

"The successful vaccine roll out continued to underpin expectations of a strong recovery in the year ahead, with service providers responding by boosting employment and investment spending during April. Job creation was the strongest for five-and-a-half years and, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, there were reports citing staff shortages as a factor holding back growth.

"Inflationary pressures remained a concern for service providers in April, with higher staff costs, transport bills and raw material prices all adding to business expenses. The overall rate of input cost inflation was the fastest since February 2017, which resulted in another strong increase in average prices charged for business and consumer services."