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Private sector activity stable in quarter to November
UK private sector activity was unchanged in the quarter to November, according to the latest CBI Growth Indicator.
The composite measure – based on 663 respondents across the distribution, manufacturing and service sectors – showed the balance of firms reporting a rise in output at +2%, down from +10% in the three months to October.
The slowdown in private sector activity growth was driven by weaker performances in services and distribution. Meanwhile, manufacturing growth picked up slightly.
Looking ahead, private sector activity is expected to remain steady over the three months to February (+3%), with slower growth in manufacturing and falling volumes in services, partially offset by stronger growth in distribution.
The CBI Growth Indicator is consistent with slow and steady growth momentum as detailed in our June Economic Forecast. Underlying conditions remain lacklustre, with household spending under pressure from squeezed real earnings and uncertainty restraining business investment.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “Private sector activity seems relatively stable as we head towards the end of the year. Businesses expect little change over the quarter ahead.
“The various papers which have been published in the last seven days lay bare the potential costs of a no deal Brexit, which would hit jobs and livelihoods across the country.
“While the current deal on offer is not perfect, businesses need the assurance that they won’t face a cliff-edge break with the EU in four months’ time in order to create new jobs and invest further in the UK.”