OPTIMISM in services companies is at its second-highest level since March 2005 while the sector has experienced growth for the 20th month in a row.
The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index of activity grew to 60.7 in March from 57.5 in February – any figure above 50 signals growth.
The services sector covers a range of businesses from hotels to the banking sector.
Its export sub-index for new business rose from 60.6 to 62.8.
Over 50pc of those surveyed also expected activity in the sector to grow further in a year’s time.