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17 May, 2017 - 12:55 By Tony Quested

East of England tops UK for growth of output and new orders

Lloyds Steve Elsom

Companies in the East of England enjoyed a strong month of growth in April, as demand for goods and services continued to increase, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional PMI.

Data showed that the rate of job creation increased as businesses in the region recruited extra staff to cope with greater workloads from new business orders.

Firms in the East of England also outperformed the UK as a whole for rates of both output and new order growth.

Businesses were also confident of output increasing in the year ahead, with optimism underlined by investment plans, new contracts, the launch of new products and promotional activities.

Despite this, the weak pound continued to put inflationary pressure on businesses’ input prices, with costs for petrol and labour also increasing. This resulted in firms passing higher cost burdens to customers by raising selling prices.

The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI, or purchasing managers’ index, is based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the volume of goods and services produced.

Steve Elsom (above), regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see the East of England outperforming the UK as a whole in terms of both output and new order growth.

“Buoyant demand for goods and services continues to translate into job creation across the region too, which is why many are feeling confident about the year ahead.

“Despite cost pressures, the regional economy maintains strong momentum, and signs point to this upturn lasting well into the summer.”

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