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UK economy cools in three months to September but outlook better: CBI

LONDON (Reuters) – Growth across Britain’s private sector cooled slightly in the three months to September, an industry survey showed on Sunday, although companies were mostly upbeat about their prospects for the next three months.

The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly indicator of output for manufacturers, retailers and services companies slipped to +11, down from +14 for the three months to August.

“Growth in the economy has held steady through the summer, although at a slightly slower pace than expected by many firms,” CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said.

The expansion eased in factories and fizzled out in business and professional services firms, the CBI said. Distribution was the only sector to experience faster growth, following a strong performance from retailers.

Despite the mixed readings, overall output expectations for the next three months edged up to +18, up two points from August.

The CBI survey is unlikely to sway Bank of England rate-setters who have said interest rates are likely to rise soon, as long as the economy continues growing and prices keep rising.

Last week the Office for National Statistics said Britain’s economy expanded at its slowest annual pace since 2013 in the 12 months following last year’s Brexit vote.

A majority of economists polled by Reuters last week expect the BoE will hike rates in November, though most of them also thought it would be a mistake to increase them now from a record low 0.25 percent.

Source: Reuters