BUSINESS LIVE: Service sector goes on a bumper hiring spree

BUSINESS LIVE: Service sector on a bumper hiring spree; Record new customers flock to AJ Bell; Aviva reports highest insurance sales in a decade

  • Hiring in consumer-facing service sector jobs rise at fastest pace since 2015 
  • AJ Bell pre-tax half year profits up nearly 40% as customer numbers rise 

Optimism in the service sector, which includes businesses like restaurants, law firms and hotels, improved ‘significantly’, new data from the Confederation of British Industry reveals. Hiring in the sector reached its highest since the end of 2015.

Sentiment across business and professional services saw a record improvement this quarter, while consumer services optimism rose at the quickest pace since May 2014. 

In terms of profitability, both sub-sectors returning to growth. This looks set to continue into the next quarter, with the pace of growth set to accelerate across the service sector, the CBI said.

Investment platform AJ Bell has posted strong half-year results today, with pre-tax profits up nearly 40 per cent and customer numbers up 32 per cent in a year. 

Aviva has delivered its highest insurance sales in the first quarter for 10 years, while savings and retirement flows surged to a new quarterly record.

The insurance giant said its core general insurance gross written premiums grew four per cent to £2billion while its core operating ratio fell to 90.6 per cent.