The UK private sector returned to growth in January driven by a sharp rise in new work, survey results from IHS Markit and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Friday.
The composite output index rose to a 16-month high of 52.4 in January from 49.3 in December.
The headline reading registered above the crucial 50 score for the first time since August 2019. The score was also above the forecast of 50.7.
The service sector expanded at the fastest pace in more than a year and the manufacturing sector moved closer to stagnation.
The services Purchasing Managers' Index advanced more-than-expected to 52.9 in January from 50.0 a month ago. The expected level was 51.1.
At the same time, manufacturing PMI improved to 49.8 from 47.5 in the previous month and above the forecast of 48.8.
The new work grew the most since September 2018. There were widespread reports that reduced political uncertainty following the general election had a positive impact on business and consumer spending decisions at the start of the year.