UK economic growth picked up pace in first quarter, CBI report reveals

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK economic growth picked up pace in this year’s first quarter.

The news is set to increase confidence about economic recovery before next month’s national election.

The CBI said that its monthly growth indicator revealed that the British economy expanded by 0.7% in the three months to March, an increase from 0.6% in the prior quarter – data which was published last week.

business arrow diagram

The UK economy is recovering well, according to the CBI’s most recent report.

The report also indicated that the economy will gain momentum this quarter. It said that the primary risks to the economy of the country are eurozone worries as well as the Greek bailout package.

The business lobby group’s monthly survey included a total of 764 private companies.

The CBI said that the firms in the UK need to cope with a stronger currency, which has already had a negative impact on export growth.

Its monthly private sector growth sector growth indicator was 18% for the three months to March – almost identical to the previous quarter.

Outlook for the year looks “encouraging” 

“The outlook for 2015 looks encouraging,” said CBI’s deputy director general Katja Hall.

“Our surveys show it’s been a solid start to the year with the prospect of stronger growth to come.

She said that the drop in global oil prices is going to help growth in the coming months.

“The benefits of lower oil prices should be increasingly felt; with cheaper petrol boosting households’ incomes and spending power, and cutting costs for many businesses,”

She added:

“Many businesses will also have to contend with a stronger pound weighing down on already-weak export growth,”

The first official estimate of how the UK economy performed during the first three months of 2015 is set to be released one week before May 7’s national election.