Sunday 27 June 2021 6:00 am

CBI: UK private sector grows at fastest pace since May 2015

Private sector activity across the UK economy grew at its fastest pace since May 2015 in the three months to June, new data showed today.

Manufacturing and distribution activity accelerated at record rates of 37 per cent and 60 per cent respectively, according to the CBI’s latest monthly growth indicator.

“With much of the economy having now reopened, we’re seeing a boost in activity across the economy,” said Alpesh Paleja, lead economist at CBI.

“With robust expectations for the months ahead, and real positivity in terms of vaccine uptake, CBI forecasts show that UK GDP is on course to return to pre-Covid levels by the end of the year.”

The data, which featured responses from 590 firms between 25 May and 14 June, found that consumers services activity fell at a sharp pace during the period, dipping by 34 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

Private sector growth is expected to cool slightly over the next three months, albeit remaining strong, while the manufacturing and distribution sectors are also forecast to slow down.

Business and professional services expect a similar pace of growth, at around 39 per cent, and consumer services are set to see an easing in the speed of decline with a contraction of 30 per cent.

“Where we need to remain vigilant is the emergence of a two-speed recovery,” Paleja said.

“While sectors like manufacturing, distribution and business & professional services look well on the road to recovery, consumer services firms – particularly those in international travel, is where the government must show more urgency to implement a truly risk-based system.”