The economy has had a sluggish start to the year, a business lobby group has said.
The percentage of firms reporting higher growth over the last three months outweighed the percentage reporting more sluggish growth by six percentage points, according to the figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published today. It was the lowest so-called net balance since May 2013.
The survey of 759 firms across manufacturing, retail and other services, suggest the UK’s weaker economic growth has been continued into the new year. The economy expanded 0.5 per cent over the final three months of 2015, maintaining a run of slower growth.
The economy grew by 2.2 per cent over the course of 2015, the Office for National Statistics said last week, down from the 2.9 per cent rise from 2013 to 2014.
Despite growth becoming more subdued, the CBI said the year ahead for the UK economy looked "fairly secure".
"The economy has had a tough start to year. 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," said CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith.
"The overall domestic outlook still looks fairly secure, and a rise in output across all sectors is expected in the coming three months. Low inflation, strong employment growth and rises in real pay also put households in a good position."
The slowdown was mainly driven by the business and professional services sector – which includes management and legal services and telecoms and computing – where output growth eased to a near three-year low.