• Aug. 19, 2017, 9:02 pm

CBI says Britain’s private sector growing at fastest pace in a year

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s private sector recorded its strongest economic growth for a year in the three months to May, according to the Confederation of British Industry, in contrast to weak official data for the first quarter of 2015.

The CBI said on Sunday that its monthly growth indicator — based on separate surveys of manufacturers, retailers and services — rose to +33 in May from +19 in April, its highest since May 2014. Services companies showed the most robust growth, with output rising at the fastest pace since early 2006.

“As we move through the second quarter, growth has cranked up several gears and businesses expect that faster pace to continue. This supports our belief that the weaker-than-expected GDP growth in the early months of 2015 will be short-lived,” Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s director of economics, said.

Official figures on Thursday showed that Britain’s economy as a whole grew just 0.3 percent between January and March, half the rate in the last three months of 2014 and wrong-footing economists who had expected stronger growth.

Last year Britain’s economy grew by 2.8 percent, its fastest rate in eight years and the strongest expansion among big advanced economies.

The CBI said businesses expected robust growth to continue over the next three months, with the forward looking index at the highest level since August 2014.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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