New data shows output rose in the West Midlands – more than any other UK region – in February on the back of growth in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The latest Lloyds TSB West Midlands PMI reveals a further acceleration of output growth in the region’s private sector economy during February with the index up to 59.2, compared with 58.8 in January – its highest level since September 2007.
The West Midlands was the top performer of all UK regions in terms of output growth during the latest survey period. Strong expansions of activity were recorded in both the manufacturing and service sectors.
Higher output was supported by a further substantial increase in new business placed with West Midlands private sector companies in February. The rate of expansion remained marked, despite easing slightly from January’s 12-month high.
PMI researchers found employment in the West Midlands’ private sector increased further in February, extending the current period of growth to three months. However although solid, the rate of job hiring was below that recorded in January. Andy Youngman, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Birmingham, said: “The latest PMI data shows the West Midlands flying high at the top of the regional output growth rankings in February. The upturn was broad-based across both the manufacturing and service sectors, with companies reporting robust demand. Rising activity levels also supported continued job creation last month, with employment in the region increasing for the third month running.”