U.K. Services Index Jumps in July

In July, the U.K. services sector grew 1.1% from June, when the sector fell 1.5%, according to the Office for National Statistics. That was the fastest pace of growth for more than a year. The seasonally adjusted index rose 0.7% compared with July 2011.

The sector accounts for about three-quarters of the U.K. economy. Output rose across the sector, with increasing auto sales driving a 1.8% gain in distribution, hotels and restaurants. Olympic ticket sales also provided a boost to the arts and recreation sector, which gained 3.7% from June.

Government and other services increased by 1.6% and business services and finance increased by 0.8%.

These figures come on the heels of data that showed the economy shrank less than previously thought in the second quarter and personal incomes rose at the fastest pace for three years.

This year, the end of May bank holiday was moved to June. It, along with an additional bank holiday added to June due to the Diamond Jubilee, resulted in two fewer working days in the month. That may have had a contributing effect on the relatively strong month-to-month growth rate for July.

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Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, International Markets, Services