Private sector activity grew at an equally sustained pace during the quarter to October as in the previous month (balance of + 29% against + 27%). Activity has now grown at an above-average pace for six consecutive surveys, according to the CBI’s latest growth indicator.
The composite measure is based on CBI survey responses from 524 companies between September 24 and October 14.
Growth remained broad, with business and professional services activity still growing strongly, albeit at a slightly slower pace compared to last month (+ 34% vs. + 39%).
Growth in consumer services accelerated (+ 24% versus + 6%), while manufacturing production (+ 15% versus + 16%) and distribution sales (+ 32% versus + 29%) increased. increased at rates roughly similar to last month.
Looking ahead, private sector activity is expected to grow at a similar pace again over the next three months (+ 27%). Growth is expected to slow in business and professional services (+ 27%) and consumer services (+ 7%), offset by expectations of improvement in manufacturing (+33) and distribution (36%).
Alpesh Paleja, Chief Economist of CBI, said:
“Given the headwinds the company has faced, above average growth over the past six months shows real resilience of the UK economy.
“By continuing to work together for business and government – to unblock supply disruptions and unblock investment – the UK can achieve the high productivity, high skills and high wage economy that everyone world wishes.
“The Chancellor has made significant strides in this direction in the budget, making corporate rates more bearable in the short term and introducing skills bootcamps.
“Meeting R&D targets will be vital to attracting the investment the UK badly needs if we are to be globally competitive, especially on decarbonization opportunities.
“As thoughts turn to COP26, it is essential that action follows ambition, net zero and the skills to get there. This will be fundamental to leveling out communities across the UK. “