UK business growth accelerates in the three months to December

Private sector growth picked up in the quarter to December, according to the latest CBI Growth Indicator.

The respondents across the distribution, manufacturing and service sectors showed the balance of firms reporting a rise in output at 19 per cent, compared with 6 per cent in the three months to November 2017.

Growth was broad-based, with all sectors reporting robust output volumes growth last quarter at a pace above their long-run averages.

Looking ahead, private sector growth is set to return to a more moribund pace over the next three months, with growth set to stall across the services sector and to slow in distribution and manufacturing.

Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, said: “Private sector firms are enjoying healthy activity levels as we approach the year end, but mediocre expectations for growth underline the ongoing challenges facing companies. Persistent cost pressures will ensure that inflation remains at a high level, perpetuating the squeeze on household spending, particularly impacting consumer-facing firms and retailers.”