Belfast Telegraph

CBI cuts growth forecast amid weak industrial production

By Ben Woods

The UK's economy is in the slow lane as factors including weak manufacturing output hold back GDP, according to a report.

The outlook for this year's GDP growth was downgraded from 2.6% in November to 2.3%, while the following will now hit 2.1% instead of 2.4% , according to forecasts by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The negative expectations have already been experienced in Northern Ireland, where PwC has downgraded its growth forecast to 1.4% for 2016 - sliding from 1.5%. According to the NI Composite Economic index, the Northern Ireland economy grew by 1.1% in the year to the third quarter of this year.

This week, the Northern Ireland Purchasing Managers Index from Ulster Bank found that job losses had been reported in the manufacturing sector here during January for the fifth month in a row.

Yesterday the CBI revised down its predictions in its latest quarterly forecast.

It stated that revisions in historical data showed there was less momentum in the 2015 economy than previously thought.

It also expects GDP to be hampered by sluggish productivity, including manufacturing output and wage growth, in turn triggering a slower rise in household spending.

But the industry body said UK economic growth would remain "solid" amid market volatility and slower global growth, maintaining its position as one of the fastest-growing advanced economies in the world.

It also insisted that the UK's "direct exposure" to the weak global economic outlook was "limited".

Belfast Telegraph