01 December 2019
The composite measure, based on 652 respondents, showed that service volumes and manufacturing output fell at a similar pace to the three months to October. Distribution volumes also fell, driven by a decline in motor trades sales, with retail sales volumes falling at a slower pace in the three months to November.
Looking forward, private sector activity is expected to fall at a slightly slower pace in the quarter to February 2020 (-9%). The ongoing decline is driven by a further fall in services volumes, while distribution sales and manufacturing output are expected to stabilise.
Across the economy more broadly, growth has been volatile during 2019, as activity has shifted in response to moving Brexit deadlines, and underlying momentum has slowed. We expect the economy to continue to grow modestly in the event of a “smooth” transition to a new Brexit deal, with a no-deal Brexit likely to hit output and financial markets significantly.
Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said:
“Those looking for an upturn in fortunes as we head towards Christmas will be sorely disappointed, with our Growth Indicator showing that private sector activity has continued to fall.
“Firms are caught in the perfect storm of Brexit uncertainty and slower global growth, which is hitting business sentiment and activity.
“Across the economy, firms will be looking to the general election to bring stability and clarity. It is essential that the next government commits to refocusing on domestic priorities and ratifying a good Brexit deal, to propel the UK economy forward.”