Business

UK growth 'slowest since 2013', says CBI

Two workers weld vehicle panels in Nissan's Sunderland factory in north east England, 12 Nov 2014 Image copyright Getty Images

The UK economy grew at its slowest rate since mid-2013 in the three months to January, according to the CBI.

Its survey of manufacturers, retailers and the services sector showed a balance of 6% reporting increased business, the lowest since May 2013.

The economy has had a "tough start to the year", said Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's director of economics.

Official figures last week put UK growth at 0.5% in the last quarter of 2015, the slowest for three years.

Ms Newton-Smith said: "Manufacturing and business and professional services have struggled to make a mark, but a healthier picture can be seen in the household-focused consumer services and retail sectors."

Output from professional services firms - including telecoms, computing and legal services - slowed down the most, according to the CBI Growth Indicator.

The CBI figures signalled only "modest" growth in the next three months.

Reports have suggested the Bank of England will this week cut its UK economic growth forecasts to around 2.3% for 2016, compared with 2.5% in November.

The central bank will release its latest inflation report on Thursday, when it will also keep interest rates unchanged amid concerns about global economic volatility.

A Treasury spokesperson said: "Despite turbulence in the global economy, Britain is pushing ahead and continues to grow steadily."

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