CBI figures show UK economic growth has 'cranked up several gears'

Business lobby in upbeat mood after survey results show improving economic growth following slowdown in first quarter of 2015

Alexander Sehmer
Sunday 31 May 2015 11:44 BST

The UK's economy is growing at its fastest pace for a year, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

The figures from the CBI, the business lobbying group, will ease concerns over a slowdown in the first quarter of 2015.

Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's director of economics, said: "As we move through the second quarter, growth has cranked up several gears and businesses expect that faster pace to continue."

He said the figures supported the CBI's belief that "weaker-than-expected" growth at the start of the year would be short-lived.

Official figures released in April had showed that growth slowed down to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015, the worst performance since the end of 2012.

The CBI's figures derived from surveys of more than 800 companies.

The figures show that growth has quickened in all main sectors of the economy, including manufacturing and retail.

They showed a "stand-out" performance for business and professional services, which includes accountancy, legal and marketing firms.

The latter sector recorded its fastest growth in business volumes since February 2006 and was the main driver of the overall acceleration, the survey found.

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