The latest Growth Indicator published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has revealed that growth in the UK’s private sector slowed in the three months to March.
Across the manufacturing, distribution and service sectors, the pace of output growth eased to +11%, down from +15%.
Additionally, while manufacturing output growth expanded in the three months to March, consumer services and retail growth slowed. Activity among business and professional services firms remained unchanged.
The Growth Indicator also suggested that firms remain optimistic: +25% of the businesses surveyed expect growth to pick up over the next quarter.
Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the CBI, commented: ‘Momentum eased towards the end of the first quarter, particularly among consumer service and retail companies. However, expectations for the quarter ahead are healthy across all sectors.
‘But headwinds are strengthening, as higher inflation drives up costs for businesses and eats into household incomes, particularly against the backdrop of subdued wage growth.’