The Confederation of British Industry has painted a positive picture of the UK economy in its latest quarterly services sector survey.

It represents good news for the services sector where job prospects are improving and also for the manufacturing sector where wages are reportedly rising.

The CBI report says that despite a slowing of activity in the past three months, a return to growth is expected in the coming quarter.

It also says that any comparisons to the last quarter should also be done when considering that Q1 represented one of the best quarters on record.

Strong predictions for the future

While business profitability and volumes slowed, growth in recruitment in professional and business services hit a seven-year high.

Not only does this aid the unemployment situation in the UK but it also shows signs that the recovery is starting to gain momentum.

“The slowing in the pace of growth and profits in the service sector reflects our view that momentum in the economy will ease in the second half of the year,” said CBI deputy director general Katja Hall.

“But this doesn’t necessarily mean a gear change in the recovery. It is encouraging that our service sector firms continue to feel upbeat.

Signs of sustainable growth

Employing more people is a positive step to sustainable growth, according to Ms Hall, although skills shortages could present a problem for some firms.

This is an issue for some people, as despite having qualifications they remain under qualified for some roles, meaning they have to carefully manage their finances while they remain under pressure.

However, the EEF engineering employers’ body was upbeat when it reported wage growth in the manufacturing sector – something not reported elsewhere.

Average annual pay rose by 2.6% for the period between February and July, up from 2.4% for the same period last year.

Watching finances throughout the recovery

This contrasts with official figures however, and further highlights the need for households to keep a watchful eye on their finances as the economic recovery develops.

For those wishing to limit their spending or to budget carefully, one such approach could be to use a prepaid card.

Only funds on these types of card can be spent and there is no overdraft facility, meaning it is possible to stay debt-free and not spend more than is desired.

The cards also carry the additional benefits of being used for online and retail purchases, as well as for ATM withdrawals – in a similar way to how a debit card works.

Security measures such as chip and PIN can also be applied to the cards to provide additional security, while they are not directly linked to bank accounts, ultimately reducing the threat of fraudulent activity.