The latest Growth Indicator compiled by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggests that private sector activity is growing ‘robustly’ and is expected to continue doing so over the coming months.
In the three months to July, the survey’s composite index recorded a net balance of +33%, a similar figure to that achieved last month. In terms of sector performance, both distribution and professional services activity grew strongly, albeit at slower rates than in the previous month, while manufacturing grew at the same pace (a joint record level) and consumer services returned to growth, posting its highest figure in almost two years.
Growth over the next three months is expected to remain strong, although the CBI did warn that supply-side bottlenecks, most notably the ‘pingdemic’, could put recovery at risk. Staff shortages due to self-isolation were reported across all sectors and all parts of the country, and the CBI said this was significantly impacting day-to-day operations.
CBI Lead Economist Alpesh Paleja commented, “The economy has been motoring ahead since restrictions began to lift a few months ago. For some sectors, growth is inevitably starting to settle towards more ‘normal’ rates, after the initial surge in recent months.”