Economic outlook is 'exceptionally strong' says CBI

Brompton bicycle factory, London

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The outlook for the economy over the next three months is "exceptionally strong" according to the employers' organisation the CBI.

Its latest monthly survey of 675 firms, indicated that growth expectations were the strongest since the CBI started collecting data in 2003.

The data for April showed a growth in output for businesses surveyed.

Retail and services showed the strongest output growth, while manufacturers reported solid progress.

In a statement the CBI described the outlook for the next three months as "exceptionally strong and broad-based".

The organisation's chief policy director Katja Hall said: "These latest growth figures, and the strong expectations for the next quarter, provide further encouraging signs of increasing vigour and confidence across the UK economy.

"While consumer spending accounted for the lion's share of GDP growth last year, there are firm indications of growth becoming more broad-based."

Wage boost

Earlier this month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed that rises in weekly earnings have finally caught up with inflation.

That was seen as a significant moment for the economy and could boost growth in the future.

Weekly wages, including bonuses, rose by 1.7% in the year to February, up from 1.4% in January.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation stood at 1.7% in February and fell to 1.6% in March.

It marked the first time that earnings have matched inflation for six years, apart from two months in 2010.

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