CBI forecasts a return to growth for UK

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The UK economy will see growth resume in the second half of 2012, according to the latest quarterly CBI economic forecast.

The CBI predicts that GDP growth in 2012 will be 0.6 per cent, slightly down from its forecast in February of 0.9 per cent. Growth prospects remain broadly unchanged for the latter half of the year and, in 2013, the CBI forecasts GDP growth to be two per cent.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “Despite the disappointing GDP estimate for the first quarter from the ONS, we still think the UK economy will grow in 2012, with faster growth next year. Optimism among businesses has been increasing since the turn of the year, with manufacturing demand holding up. And that is beginning to translate into more jobs and investment. That said, the global economy continues to pose a number of significant challenges.”

Growth in the construction sector slowed in April, but another solid rise in new orders shored up confidence in the year ahead.

The Markit/CIPS survey, where a reading above 50 represents growth, fell to 55.8 in April from a 21-month high of 56.7 the previous month, which was boosted by fine weather.

Recent robust industry surveys for the construction sector have been at odds with official figures that showed the sector contracted by three per cent in the first quarter of 2012, and contributed to the UK’s double-dip recession.