The services sector grew at its fastest pace in almost two years in August, leaving the UK economy on track to return to growth in the third quarter.

The purchasing managers’ index for business activity at services companies rose to 54.1 from 53.2 in July – the highest level since September 2007.

The services PMI covers about 40 per cent of the economy. It excludes retail, car sales and government services, but retail sales have been growing and government output is unlikely to have declined much.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph