UK firms expect growth to stagnate over next 3 months – CBI

Storm clouds are seen above the Canary Wharf monetary district in London, Britain, August 3, 2010.

Reuters/Greg Bos/File Picture

British businesses anticipate financial growth to grind practically to a halt over the next 3 months due to weaker investment and consumer self-confidence after June’s vote to leave the European Union, the Confederation of British Industry stated on Sunday. The CBI stated the outlook was the weakest since December 2012 as the proportion of firms anticipating lower output was now 3 percentage points higher than the share anticipating growth. This marked a sharp turnaround from June, when there was a 16 percentage point margin in favor of those preparing for growth. “This information reveals a weaker image for UK economic development,” CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie said – though he included that the study, performed between June 27 and July 14, likely reflected a post-referendum low for consumer-facing firms. “In manufacturing, although investment intents are quieter as unpredictability weighs on corporate budget, the weaker pound is assisting to improve exports’ competitiveness.”

The CBI’s figures were partially based on its dismal surveys of makers’ order books and retailers recently, with added material from other services companies making up the bulk of Britain’s private-sector economy.

A survey by financial data business Markit earlier this month showed companies reported the biggest fall in activity because the depths of the monetary crisis in 2009, while GfK’s consumer confidence index chalked up its sharpest decline considering that 1990. Markit is due to supply more in-depth figures later on this week, and the Bank of England is widely anticipated to cut rate of interest on Thursday for the first time since 2009, when it presents an updated projection for the British economy.

( Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Mark Heinrich).

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