UK consulting has frown at its fastest rate since 2007, according to the MCA.
UK consulting has grown at its fastest rate since 2007, according to the MCA.

The management consulting sector in the UK grew last year at the fastest rate since 2007, according to data released by the Management Consulting Agency (MCA).

The figures state that UK consulting grew by 8% in 2013 to reach £4.8bn.

The MCA says a rapidly expanding digital and technology sector is part of the total increase as it now accounts for a quarter of consulting revenues.

Investments in digital management consultants skyrocketed by 115% to 8,000 in 2013.

"Strong growth in Digital and Technology highlights how the consulting industry is central to the emergence of Digital as a major force in the UK economy," said Paul Connolly, director of the MCA thinktank.

"Many businesses are facing a range of digital opportunities, and consultants are providing them with the expert knowledge they need to capitalise on them."

Financial services made up 35% of the MCA's members fee income from the private sector, whilst the construction and transport sector was the fastest increase, up by 60%.

"UK consulting's performance in 2013 is also an advance indicator for the prospects and health of the wider economy. Businesses are seeking consulting support to develop growth propositions: so consulting is growing by helping others grow," Connolly continued.

The MCA also reported a modest recovery in the public services sector in 2013. Last year saw a 3% increase in revenue, less than the 5% of 2012.

Although NHS spend increased by 6%, and significant increase in spend on defence and local government consulting, there were major reductions in Central Government and Executive Agency spend.

"The small rise in public sector consulting is entirely understandable and welcome as it stems from real needs. MCA members would welcome even more of a proper dialogue with the public sector on how this need and its growth can be properly managed," said MCA chief executive Alan Leaman.