Activity levels in the UK’s private sector fell over the preceding three months, marking the first decline since March 2021, a leading business lobby group said.
The Confederation of British Industry’s Growth Indicator fell to a reading of -5% for the three months to August, from +8% for the quarter to July.
“The worsening cost-of-living crisis – set to escalate further when the new energy price cap comes into effect – is putting the brakes on private sector activity,” said Alpesh Paleja, CBI lead economist.
“[…] With even tougher months ahead, it’s imperative that government acts decisively and at pace to support vulnerable households and businesses – and to lay the foundations for renewed economic momentum.”
Distribution sales managed to buck the trend with the corresponding indicator rising from +3% to +7%.
However, that for business and professional services retreated from +19% to -1%, manufacturing output from +6% to -7% and consumer activity from -37% to -4%.
The pace of decline in activity was expected to accelerate over the following quarter to -12%, led by a worsening in business and professional services activity, a growth indicator for which fell to -16%.
Distribution sales and factory production meanwhile were seen broadly flat while at -29% the pace of decline in consumer services activity was seen slowing.