The UK service sector rebounded in December as business optimism jumped in the wake of Boris Johnson’s unexpectedly decisive election victory, lifting some of the political uncertainty facing the British economy. The latest health check of a sector that includes hotels, restaurants, transport and the City from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips) found that business optimism soared to the highest level since September 2018.
The survey of about 650 service sector companies straddled the election, with firms responding between 5 December and 19 December, suggesting the unexpectedly decisive result may have influenced business optimism. The Institute of Directors, which polled almost 1,000 of its members the day after the election, found optimism among company bosses leapt to its highest level for more than three years following the Conservatives’ election win.
Despite the improving outlook, the snapshot for December from service sector firms, manufacturers and the construction industry together signalled an overall stagnation in the UK economy at the end of 2019.