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Businesses confident on UK growth prospects

STEADY FIRST-QUARTER GROWTH has stoked business’s confidence in the coming three months, according to a survey of 764 companies conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Professional services, business and manufacturing are expected to drive the growth, the figures show. The percentage of companies that saw output rise over the past three months minus the percentage that saw decline was 18%. That number is marginally down on the 19% the three months to February.

Meanwhile, the percentage of businesses that anticipated greater output minus those that expect decline hit 25%, up from 18%.

CBI deputy director-general Katja Hall said: “The outlook for 2015 looks encouraging. Our surveys show it’s been a solid start to the year with the prospect of stronger growth to come.

The benefits of lower oil prices should be increasingly felt; with cheaper petrol boosting households’ incomes and spending power, and cutting costs for many businesses.

“The main risk to the UK economy comes from the Eurozone, with continuing wrangling over Greece’s bailout package stoking uncertainty. Plus, many businesses will also have to contend with a stronger pound weighing down on already weak export growth. “

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