The rate of economic expansion dipped slightly in the three months to September following a near record-breaking previous month – but growth is still strong, according to the latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) growth indicator.
Its survey of 775 respondents across the manufacturing, retail and service sectors showed the pace of growth slowed down but remained firm, with a balance of 22 per cent in September, compared with 31 per cent in August and a long-run average of four per cent.
Manufacturing stalled in the quarter to September, for the first time in almost two and a half years. Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's director of economics, said this was partly due to the fact that “the strength of the pound is hitting exports to the Eurozone, and emerging markets have lost some of their sparkle”.
“Even though the UK’s direct exposure to China is small, there is a risk that the impact on global growth from a further slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy could bear down on UK trade even more than we expect,” she added.
Meanwhile the business and professional services and retail sectors continue to show robust growth. Firms anticipate another strong expansion in business volumes over the next three months.