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Consultancy fees top £10 billion

Consultancy spending rose by 9.4% last year, helping UK consultants earnings to top the £10 billion mark for the first time, according to new figures from the Management Consultancies Association. The rate of growth - twice that recorded in 2002 - was driven in the last quarter of 2003 by outsourcing consultancy services, which grew by 4.8%. The growth reflected the ongoing trend towards OCS and IT related consulting, which has increased by 28% in the last twelve months and doubled in the last five years.

Bruce Petter, executive director of the MCA, says: "Whilst we did not expect a return to double-digit growth in 2003, if ever, the increase in IT and outsourcing consultancy over the last 12 months has supported a return to significant growth after a tough year in 2002"

Petter continues: "This is extremely encouraging for the consulting sector. MCA member firms are also expecting the sales cycle for IT work to shorten in the next quarter, which suggests this trend will continue through 2004."

MCA members are particularly optimistic about business generation from the primary industries (including utilities, mining and metals), financial services and the public sector, the association said.

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