The UK economy will avoid an unprecedented triple-dip recession, according to the latest forecast by the Confederation of British Industry.
The employers’ organisation expects that quarter-on-quarter growth will be 0.3 per cent in the first three months of 2013.
Additionally the group forecasts that quarterly growth will remain between 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent over the remainder of this year.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics released yesterday (12th Feb), the UK economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2012. Another quarter of contraction would place the country back into recession - for the third time since the financial crisis broke.
Across the whole of 2013, the CBI is now forecasting growth of 1 per cent - down from its previous estimate of 1.4 per cent.
CBI director-general John Cridland says: “We are beginning to see the return of organic growth, with clear signs that firms offering the right products into the right markets are growing sales and expanding. Recent business surveys also give grounds for cautious optimism about our forward prospects.”
However, Cridland notes that continued problems in the eurozone - a major trading partner of the UK - and in other regions of the globe will keep “growth in check”.
He comments: “After the uncertainties of 2012, the fear of external storm clouds lingers.”