This content is not available in your region

UK businesses report weakest growth since last lockdown - CBI

Access to the comments Comments
By Reuters
UK businesses report weakest growth since last lockdown - CBI
UK businesses report weakest growth since last lockdown - CBI   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> – British businesses have reported their weakest growth since the country was under lockdown earlier this year and they expect a further slowdown in early 2022, the Confederation of British Industry (<span class="caps">CBI</span>) said on Thursday.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">CBI</span>’s monthly growth indicator – which combines surveys of output from manufacturers, retailers and other services companies – fell 11 points to +21 in the three months to December, the lowest since the three months to April.</p> <p>Growth was expected to slow again in the coming three months as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus weighs on the economy.</p> <p>“Substantial challenges remain for businesses heading into Christmas: labour and materials shortages, rising costs and new <span class="caps">COVID</span> measures are restricting businesses’ ability to trade during this crucial period,” <span class="caps">CBI</span> Lead Economist Alpesh Paleja said in a statement.</p> <p>Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out new <span class="caps">COVID</span> restrictions in England before Christmas but said he might have to act afterwards. Scotland and Wales have tightened controls.</p> <p>Alpesh said finance minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement on Tuesday of 1 billion pounds ($1.33 billion) in support for hospitality and leisure firms would provide a breathing space.</p> <p>“But with the potential of further measures still weighing on firms, the government must monitor the situation closely and ensure that any new restrictions go in lock-step with further targeted cashflow support,” he said.</p> <p>Despite the slowdown, the <span class="caps">CBI</span>’s growth gauge remained a long way above its long-run average of +4. </p> <p>Only manufacturers saw an acceleration in growth in the three months to December. Business and professional services, consumer services and distribution firms all reported slower growth, the <span class="caps">CBI</span> said.</p> <p>($1 = 0.7510 pounds)</p> <p/> </div>