UK private sector expands at fastest pace in seven years

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August manufacturing and services surge follows return of business activity after lockdown

Britain’s private sector expanded at its fastest pace for seven years in August as the twin engines of the economy, the manufacturing and services sectors, surged back to life.

But businesses, which have brought millions of workers back from furlough, warned that the rise in activity was not enough to prevent a “steep and accelerated” fall in employment. With the outlook remaining uncertain, they said many furloughed staff had little to do when they returned to work and faced losing their jobs.

Related: UK national debt hits £2tn for first time, as PMIs surge – business live

Marks & Spencer – 7,000 jobs
18 August: Food, clothing and homewares retailer cuts jobs in central support centre, regional management and stores.

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