Service sector feeling benefits of upswing

​Optimism​ ​in the service sector is high after a year of growth as firms take on more staff, according to the latest CBI survey.

The CBI said​ the​ service sector is feel​ing​ the benefits of the economic upswing with growing optimism​ and a brisk rise in​ business volumes​.

The survey showed that ​​​firms are increasingly confident about the business situation​ i​n the three months to May, ​with optimism rising at the fastest rate since the start of the survey in 1998​.

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​The CBI said that business volumes rose again, marking a full year of growth.

The survey of 151 firms also revealed that companies have continued to take on more staff and increased expenditure on training.

Katja Hall, CBI ​d​eputy ​d​irector-​g​eneral, said:​ ​“With a full year of growth under their belts, service sector firms are more upbeat than they have been for a long time.

“The recovery continues to strengthen with both consumer and business-facing firms taking on more staff and investing in training and IT.

“But a rising number of firms, particularly in business and professional services are having problems finding the right staff. This survey identifies a skills gap as a growing constraint on business expansion in the sector over the year ahead.”

Consumer service​ firms​, which include​ hotels, bars, restaurants, travel and leisure firms,​ ​said levels ​of ​business ​are comfortably above normal.