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Business services sector set for growth

Simon Quicke

Resellers offering professional business services appear to be in a better place than firms that concentrate on the consumer market.

The CBI's latest survey of the services sector reveals a full year of decline in the consumer space but growth and optimism in the business to business market.

The growth in the first quarter of this year in business and professional services revenue was the highest for almost three years and the level of optimism over the prospects for the next three months is also at an 18 month high.

One of the positives for the channel was that in an attempt to improve their position the consumer services space the operators are looking to invest in technology to replace aging technology and to gain efficiency from fresher IT.

"These findings on the service sector reveal much about the broader economy. On the one hand, consumer spending is constrained, held back by rising prices and squeezed real incomes," said Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser.

"There are signs that spending by businesses is picking up, helping to re-balance the economy away from consumer driven growth," he added.

"Business and professional services firms managed to grow their business volumes modestly in the past three months, and in turn steadied their profitability in the face of falling prices and rising costs. Signs that firms plan to invest more in IT and equipment are encouraging," he said.


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