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Round-up of the week

Posted on 2nd October 2015

Finance and accounting sector vacancies on the up

The number of vacancies in the finance and accounting sector is rising, new figures have revealed.

According to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the number of permanent vacancies overall has risen by eight per cent this year.

This growth has been driven largely by a 16 per cent surge in finance and accounting roles, while IT and media and marketing have also seen an upturn.

APSCo also found that average salaries across the board have risen by 5.7 per cent over the last year, with financial services seeing an above average rise of 8.5 per cent and sales recording an impressive 16.9 per cent increase.

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, commented: "With the latest estimates from the ONS predicting that the UK economy has grown 13.4 per cent since 2009, there is now no denying that the outlook is good for UK plc. Against this backdrop, it is unsurprising that employment is climbing and vacancy levels across the professional sectors remain strong.”

CBI reports strong economic growth

The CBI has revealed that the economy is continuing to expand at a strong rate.

According to the business group, the rate of growth slowed a little in the three months to September, but remains firm.

As a result, many companies are confident about their prospects and expect to see an increase in business volumes over the next quarter.

Rain Newton-Smith, director of economics at the CBI, commented: "It’s good to see growth in the UK is still strong, led by robust consumer spending and business investment."

However, she conceded that the upturn in sentiment is not universal across all sectors, as manufacturers in particular are having a "tough time" right now.

IoD: Output per hour grew by 0.9% in Q2

Output per hour went up by 0.9 per cent during the second quarter of 2015, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has revealed.

According to the organisation, this is "very encouraging", as factors such as high employment and an increase in real wages suggests the growth in productivity is built on solid foundations.

James Sproule, chief economist at the IoD, commented: "For those who point out that the UK lags behind its international competitors, it is important to remember that business performance in the future will be determined by a firm's agility and their ability to respond quickly to changing business, technology and consumer demands, not just how well they can refine production and processes in mature businesses."

ONS publishes latest growth figures

The UK economy expanded by 0.7 per cent during the second quarter of 2015, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed.

Responding to the figures, the British Chambers of Commerce said they show the UK economy "grew at a satisfactory pace" between April and June this year.

David Kern, chief economist at the business group, also hailed the news that business investment has risen on both an annual and quarterly basis.

However, he insisted there is no room for complacency, particularly as the trade deficit went up in July.

"Overall, the UK recovery is progressing, but the economy remains unbalanced, and our external position remains precarious," Mr Kern said. "It is also important not to take risks with our economic growth prospects, so the MPC must persevere with low interest rates until well into 2016."