Private sector activity falls in November

01 Dec 2023

Private sector activity continued to fall in the three months to November, according to the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) latest Growth Indicator.

The Growth Indicator's weighted balance was -11%, down from -7% the previous month and the CBI says there's 'no sign of any let-up over the coming quarter'.

The CBI's figures show that activity has now contracted for the last 16 rolling quarters. Services business volumes were down -9% in the three months to November while the business & professional sector was down -9% and consumer down -5%.

Manufacturing output also declined -17% in the three months to November. 

Private sector activity is expected to remain broadly unchanged over the next three months, the CBI said.

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said:?'Widespread weakness is indicative of the broad headwinds facing the UK economy with demand squeezed by high interest rates and inflation while staff and skill shortages hold back businesses operations. Investment has become challenging under these conditions, but it is the best way to boost productivity and ultimately revive economic growth.  

'The Chancellor's decision to make Full Expensing a permanent feature of the tax system represents a significant step towards breaking the UK's low growth cycle. However, expanding the UK economy's productive capacity will also require a healthy and able workforce. A focus on occupational health to support people back into work and prevent ill-health could be bolstered by making Employee Assistance Programmes tax free.'