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Economic growth hits 12-month high, reports CBI

Growth in the UK private sector increased in the three months to December to reach a 12-month high, according to the latest figures.

In its final Growth Indicator report of 2016, the Confederation of Business Industries (CBI) has revealed that the balance of firms reporting a growth climbed to +17% - its highest reading of the year - and just three per cent off the +20% it reached in December 2015.

The report, based on a survey of 788 respondents across the manufacturing, distribution and service sectors, found that most sectors reported an upward trend in activity with manufacturing in particular rising to its highest level since July 2014.

Wholesaling and motor trades recorded slightly faster growth while, despite remaining solid, the retail sector slowed when compared to November.

The CBI expects a similar growth momentum in the first three months of 2017 with most sectors predicted to see healthy +15% increase.

Alpesh Paleja, CBI principal economist, said: “It’s great to see the economy end the year on the up, with growth strengthening across the private sector.

“However, economic growth is likely to soften next year, as heightened uncertainty hits business investment and higher inflation weighs on household spending.

“With the fresh slate of a New Year on the horizon, British businesses will be looking to the Government for as much clarity as possible on upcoming EU negotiations, and want to work together to develop a post-Brexit economy that sustains growth and prosperity for all.”

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