By Daniel Hunter
Economic growth steadied in the three months to December, as the initial boost from the release of pent-up demand faded, according to the latest CBI Growth Indicator.
The survey of 792 respondents across manufacturing, retail and services showed that economic growth continued to rise, but at the slowest pace since July 2013, with a balance of +14%. This reflected a sharp fall in business & professional services growth, but was partly offset by a solid performance in the retail sector while manufacturing growth remained steady.
The pace of overall growth remained above average, and is expected to quicken in the next three months (+20%), although at a steadier pace than earlier in the year.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, said: “The economy is plotting a solid course as we head into Christmas. Whilst growth has slowed somewhat, this reflects a return to a steadier, more sustainable pace as the recent boost from pent-up demand fades.
“But the global backdrop remains a concern for firms. The weak Eurozone, slowing emerging markets and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, Russia and Ukraine are headwinds to growth.
“While lower oil and fuel prices will leave more money in the pockets of households and businesses, it is also making life difficult for major oil producers.”