Business group says growth at six year peak

THE LAST three months have seen the strongest economic growth in six years, according to new research ahead of today’s GDP growth figures.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) announces its new growth indicator today, suggesting the three months up to January have been the strongest since the third quarter of 2007, when the economy expanded by 1.2 per cent.

Almost a third more firms told the CBI that output was rising than falling in the quarter ending this month, up from 26 per cent in December. As recently as April, the balance was still negative, reflecting the rapid turnaround in the UK.

“A picture is unfolding of a real upsurge in output across much of the UK economy. Many firms in many sectors are feeling brighter about their prospects than they have for a long time, showing the recovery is gaining traction,” said CBI chief policy director Katja Hall.

The CBI’s growth indicator is the first it has released, bringing together many of the group’s other business surveys, suggesting that the research covers as much as 75 per cent of the private economy.