British businesses enjoyed modest growth in the three months to November, and are expected to maintain the pace into 2017, according to a survey published today.
Private sector growth remained steady in the last three months, research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) showed, while retailers and consumer-facing companies reported a rise in growth.
“The high street has had a good month, even before we see the impact of Black Friday and Christmas shopping,” the CBI said.
“Businesses will be pleased by the welcome measures in the Autumn Statement to unlock research and development spending, spur innovation and upgrade crucial infrastructure. By further prioritising spending, the government can seize the opportunities to deliver growth and prosperity across the UK’s regions and nations,” the report said.
Predictions showed healthy growth across most sectors, with the exception of business and professional services, where a slight decline in activity is expected.
Manufacturers grew at a slower pace too however, while volumes in business and professional services remained broadly flat for a second month.
However, cost pressures are picking up for businesses, with the weakness in sterling driving import costs up, the CBI said.
And while investment intentions for the year ahead have stabilised after a sharp deterioration following the EU referendum, they remain below their pre-Brexit highs, due to the uncertainty weighing on plans for capital spending.