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British service sector growth surges in August: CBI

A logo sits on display in the headquarters of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the Canary Wharf business district in London, U.K., on Thurs Nov 21, 2013.

[LONDON] Growth across British services companies surged in August, adding to signs that the strong pace of economic upturn has continued into the second half of this year, a business survey showed on Friday.

The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) survey showed the biggest influx of work for business and professional services companies since records started in 1998, while conditions for consumer services companies also improved. "After a weaker start to the year, the UK services sector is now seeing healthy growth across the board with firms becoming more profitable, driven by a surge in business volumes," said Rain Newton-Smith, director of economics at the CBI. "Companies are still looking to invest in people and capital, especially in IT which will help them exploit new technology and boost productivity," she added.

Official figures for the third quarter, due later on Friday, are expected to confirm Britain's economy grew 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the April-June period.

Still, worries linger that Britain relies too heavily on its services sector and big-spending consumers to drive economic growth.

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Manufacturing activity has disappointed over the past year and Britain's trade performance has largely dragged on growth, last quarter aside.