The survey, published yesterday by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and financial information company Markit, also showed continuing strong growth in new business for UK services companies and an acceleration in the rate of increase of the sector's workforce to a more meaningful level.
CIPS's business activity index for services fell marginally, from 60.5 in August to 60.3 in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, but continued to signal a rapid rate of growth by remaining well above the level of 50 which is calculated to separate expansion from contraction. The August index number had signalled the fastest monthly growth in UK services activity since December 2006.
CIPS said that, over the three months to September, its business activity index for the UK service sector had averaged its highest level since the second quarter of 1997.
The CIPS employment index for the service sector rose from 50.6 in August to 53.3 in September.