RESEARCH NEWS: Business & professional services sector grows to its highest levels since 2007

Business activity in the professional service sector has grown to its highest level since 2007, according to CBI’s quarterly Service Sector Survey.

The business and professional services sector, which includes marketing firms, saw business volumes rise at their fastest pace since November 2007. As a result, profitability recorded its strongest growth since February 2008.

Consequently, the number of people employed in the business and professional services sector grew by 22 per cent, the fastest growth since November 2007.

Some 39 per cent of firms are planning on expanding their business to the greatest extent since February 2006.

Sue Pettican, relationship director, technology media and telecoms at Barclays, says despite the good news, the outlook is still mixed for many marketing firms: “The companies that are most willing to invest in marketing are the big name international brands. As a marketing agency working with this type of client, the outlook is positive – the key is to be able to retain and grow this business.

“However, one of the challenges facing marketing firms of all sizes is that many companies are now consolidating their marketing spend into fewer agencies – whereas multiple agencies for different marketing channels and disciplines used to be the norm, now brands want an agency that can deliver a strong integrated offering.

“Agencies can also benefit from supporting brands with international capability, as well as being able to deliver on a domestic level. As a result, we’re working with an increasing number of marketing agencies who are following their clients and are opening new offices, particularly in the US and Asia.”