The UK business sector grew by 2.3% in the May 2018 quarter, with the biggest increases seen in the UK’s financial services sector, followed by the pharmaceutical sector, construction, and construction-related services.
Businesses employing more than 10,000 people grew by 0.3%, while those employing less than 10 people saw growth of 1.4%.
The biggest gainers in the business sector were financial services, up 1.1%, followed by building and construction, up 0.4% and retail trade, up 2.5%.
The UK’s construction industry saw the biggest fall in employment, with employment falling by 1,500 people, or 0.2%.
Retail trade saw the largest increase, with an increase of 685 people, up 4.3%.
The growth of financial services was driven by a 3% increase in UK banking, with a 3.1% increase across the UK banking sector.
The number of people in the workforce increased by 1.5 million in the quarter, but the growth of the workforce in financial services is driven by the banking sector, which grew by 723,000, or 6.1%.
Business investment grew by 6.9%, while construction investment fell by 4.5%, although the latter was slightly higher than expected.
Construction was the only sector to see growth in the year to May, with financial services and construction accounting for a significant portion of that growth.
The UK economy grew by 4% in Q1 2019, but a 2.7% contraction was the biggest since the early 1990s.
The employment rate fell from 74.1 in Q2 2019 to 74.0 in Q3 2019, while the number of employed people increased by 13.2 million to 21.1 million.
The headline growth for the year was 3.9%.
The headline employment rate was 1.8%.
The labour force participation rate increased to 62.9% in 2019, down from 63.4%, the lowest since mid-2015.
The unemployment rate was 4.1 per cent, down 0.6 percentage points from Q2.
The Bank of England’s monetary policy was relaxed in September 2019, with interest rates rising from 1% to 2.75%.
The Bank said this was aimed at keeping the economy on track, and that the economy was likely to remain on track through the second half of 2019.
In 2018, the UK had the highest inflation rate in Europe, at 3.7%.