Where is the best place for new assignments for PAYE umbrella contractors when the country seems to be heading for a triple-dip recession? The answer is London and the East Midlands.
This is the main verdict of the latest Lloyd’s TSB Purchasing Managers’ Index, which invites business respondents in each of the UK’s regions to report one of three outcomes compared to the previous month: improvements in business activity (scores above 50 on a 0-100 scale), no change (indicated by a score of 50) or a deterioration (scores below 50). Depressingly, overall private sector output for the UK fell from 51.3 in June to a grizzly 49.5 in July. The manufacturing sector pulled the figure down the most, as anxieties spread about the parlous state of the global economy.
For contractors working through umbrella companies in London and East Midlands, however, the picture was altogether more encouraging. Job vacancies in the North West took the heftiest hit in the country during July, but job creation in the East Midlands topped the national poll. London, too, bucked the general trend, reporting an increase in job creation from 51.6 to 53.3.
The area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Central London, Ian Patterson, said that the capital had “defied the downturn” seen by most of the UK in July, adding: “The capital was also the best performing region in terms of new business growth during July, helped by robust gains in the service economy; however, the uncertain economic outlook and a general lack of pressure on operating capacity meant that private sector job creation was still relatively modest.”