Financials lead global recovery, Markit finds

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Financials were the chief driver of global expansion during May with firms posting the fastest growth in over a year.

The robust pace was fuelled by companies reporting the largest inflows of new business since February 2012, according to economics consultancy Markit, which monitors trends across industries.

This latest rise in output in the financials industry follows a trend which has been recorded in each month since January 2012, with the exception of a marginal reduction last June. Behind the overall expansion of the financial industry was a sharp acceleration in the ‘other financials’ sector, which comprises non-bank financials and investment service companies.

Faster growth was enjoyed by both the insurance and real estate sectors but the banking sector was the principle drag on the wider financials industry in May, with the rate of increase in business activity little changed from April’s modest pace.

Banks similarly reported only a slight rise in new work during May, the smallest increase since last November. Consequently, firms took a cautious approach to hiring, with only a marginal rate of job creation recorded.

Overall employment in the banking sector has been broadly flat over the past two months, with the increase in staff numbers in May merely reversing a reduction in April.

The Markit Global Sector PMIs are data trackers which examine business trends for eight industries and 26 sectors by tracking monthly changes in variables such as output, orders, employment and prices.