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British Business Optimism Remains Mixed: CBI

Business optimism improved among UK business and professional services in the three months to February, while morale weakened in consumer services, the latest quarterly Service Sector Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed on Thursday.

Sentiment among business and professional services improved at the strongest pace since August 2015. The balance advanced to +23 percent from -21 percent.

At the same time, sentiment about the general business situation continued to worsen in consumer services, and at a slightly faster pace than in the three months to November, to -39 percent from -34 percent.

Profitability as well as employment in business and professional services and consumer services continued to decline in three months to February.

"Although, the pace of decline has eased, particularly compared with the first lockdown last year, the next few months promise mixed fortunes for the sector," Ben Jones, CBI principal economist, said.

"Consumer service activity, in particular, is expected to remain in the doldrums, though business and professional services firms are a bit more hopeful, with profitability projected to stabilise and employment set to grow," Jones added.

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