The official survey measures the state of the economy across the country and informs the monetary policy committee (MPC) in making its interest rate decisions.
Consumer demand growth is sluggish as “consumers are increasingly conscious of avoiding waste”, with “households driven by value.”
Low demand has forced manufactures to “scale back investment plans,” and output growth in the sector is down as households economise.
Such conditions have impacted on private sector hiring intentions, which also slowed. However, investment in younger workers is rising – “use of apprenticeships was increasingly widespread, to avoid future skills shortages,” the study found.
Other positive news came in trade. “Exports to Germany and various emerging economies remained robust, helped by the level of sterling and product innovation”. The 12-month outlook remains relatively positive, with strong prospects reported in the Middle East and Asia, as well.