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CBI confirms growth has slowed down, but economic outlook remains bright

The survey of 771 respondents across manufacturing, retail and services showed continued growth in the private sector, with a balance of 21% in August. Whilst the pace of growth slowed to a five-month low (down from 29% in July), it remained well above average.

Sales volumes in the retail sector grew strongly, but growth eased in the manufacturing, and business and professional services sectors.

The outlook for the next three months is particularly robust, with expectations for growth (38%), only marginally below the record high (since 2003) set in April (42%).

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, said:

“There are a few early signs that momentum in the economy may ease slightly in the second half of the year.

“However, growth is set to remain robust, and there are positive signs that the recovery is continuing along the right track.

“Alongside the strong showing from the retail sector, it’s encouraging that firms feel particularly upbeat about growth prospects as we head into the autumn.

“Businesses will continue to keep a weather eye on developments overseas, as subdued prospects in the Eurozone and international political uncertainty make the global economic environment that bit more challenging.”

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