OPTIMISM is being felt for the nation's economy as the best reading on record has been found in a survey of business activity.

A purchasing index from the IHS Markit saw a surge in growth and employment in the latest reading this month.

IHS credits the surge to the continued unlocking of society and consumers being more confident to visit pubs and restaurants as the Covid-19 vaccine rollout continues.

It follows a rise in business activity seen in March when the retail sector reopened after the third lockdown.

However, GDP has fallen by 1.5 per cent in the first quarter.

The IHS has warned that although business activity is on the rise, inflation could also surge as consumer prices are increasing.

Early this week it was revealed that the UK's inflation rate more than doubled to 1.5 per cent in March, it is the highest rate seen in the UK for a decade.