West Mids enjoying rapid growth

Business activity in the West Midlands grew more rapidly than any other area of the country in February, according to a new report.

The latest Commercial Banking West Midlands purchasing managers’ index from Lloyds showed that the region grew even more than London and the South East.

The activity index measures the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors and climbed from 60.9 to 62.2 – making it the largest rate of expansion of all 12 UK regions.

In further good news for the area, there has also been a rise in new business for West Midlands firms. New orders accelerated to the strongest since data first became available in 1997.

Dave Atkinson, Lloyds’ area director small and medium-sized enterprise banking in the West Midlands, said: “Survey-record growth of activity and new business in February highlights the strength of the West Midlands economic recovery.

“The buoyant performance, which was the best across all UK regions, was attributed by panellists to a general revival in market confidence.

“Employment growth was a little sluggish but, if workloads continue to rise at current rates, companies should look to boost capacity in the coming months.”

Along with renewed confidence in the market, increased launches for new products, advertising campaigns and competitive prices were all reported to have helped the expansion of new business.

Author: Dan Butler