UK economic growth slows from record levels but remains strong

Consumer services, business and professional services as well as retail sectors accounted most for the slowdown in output growth.

The report showed however that growth is expected to accelerate again in the next quarter, driven by strength in the service sector, with expectations balance at +36 per cent.

The survey across manufacturing, retail and services registered robust growth in output volumes, with a +19 per cent balance, down from a record +32 per cent in February.

Anna Leach, CBI head of economic analysis, said: Although growth has slowed from record levels last month, it remains strong and firms are optimistic it will pick up again in the next quarter.

As this year progresses, we expect further increases in business and consumer confidence. Productivity and earnings should also start to recover.

However, global developments continue to pose a risk to UK growth, not least the risk of renewed problems in the Eurozone. And although our direct trade and financial links with the Ukraine and Russia are relatively small the crisis could have potential implications for global commodity prices, which may impact inflation in the UK.

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