Private sector growth rowed back in the three months to May but should show sunnier figures come summer, according to the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) latest growth indicator.
In its survey of 721 respondents across the manufacturing, distribution and services sectors, the CBI found that growth slowed a little (+13 per cent) when stacked up against April (+18 per cent).
Business and professional services were the main drag on momentum, while manufacturing output continued to plough on with robust expansion. The retail sector and consumer services picked up a little, after a tepid start to the year.
The CBI said it expects the pace of growth in the private sector to ramp back up over the next three months (+18 per cent), as "healthy demand growth" in manufacturing and business and professional services help to offset a slowdown in retail, along with falling volumes in consumer services.
Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's chief economist, said:
The UK economy continues to perform solidly, if not spectacularly. Emboldened by a weaker currency, our manufacturers are getting on with it and recorded strong growth again this quarter.
But on the other hand inflation is starting to bite, having an impact on household incomes with costs rising at the factory gate and on the high street.