The economic upturn in London gained momentum in November, according to figures from Lloyds Bank.

It says new business rose at the strongest rates since January, and demand for goods and services grew with companies moving to expand their workforce.

However, competitive pressure meant businesses left their selling prices unchanged despite sharply rising input costs.

The Lloyds Bank UK Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey is an economic health-check of the nation based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the value of goods and services produced.

It showed in London there was an increase from 52.8 in October to 55.3 in November, its highest reading in ten months and a 2.5-point rise on the previous month. The UK as a whole saw a 0.5-point increase in the PMI.

London’s private sector companies reported the strongest rise in new orders for ten months in November. Some firms linked this to the weak pound boosting export sales, while others commented on improved marketing efforts and increased investment.

Paul Evans, regional director for SME Banking in London, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Output in the capital has accelerated, with the PMI reaching its highest level since the beginning of the year, fuelled by both the weak pound boosting export sales and increased investment on the part of businesses in the capital.

“Despite the positive trends for outputs, new business and employment, there’s a note of caution in the data. The weak pound continued to raise the cost of imported goods and led to another substantial rise in input prices. So if this trend continues, companies will have to raise their charges accordingly, which could impact price-sensitive customers.”

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