U.K. private sector ‘unmoved’ as Brexit talks loom

PHOTO: Bloomberg

PHOTO: Bloomberg

A survey of 715 businesses, published Sunday, found retailers and consumer-facing companies led the increase in sales in the three months to November, while manufacturers saw slower growth. The business lobby said that the outlook also remained positive, with a slightly higher rate of expansion expected over the next quarter.

“It’s encouraging to see that growth in the private sector continues to perk up, and that steady growth is expected as we head into 2017,” said Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI.

“The high street has had a good month, even before we see the impact of Black Friday and Christmas shopping, whilst our manufacturers and services sector are seeing subdued growth.”

The figures chime with data released since the referendum that show an economy performing better than many expected. The U.K. government, the Bank of England and the OECD have all warned that growth in 2017 will be lower as Britain starts negotiating its exit from the European Union.

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