Businesses posted their weakest expectations for growth since June 2020 in the three months to January, following Scotland and England joining Wales and Northern Ireland in lockdown.
The CBI’s monthly Growth Indicator found that private sector activity is expected to decline at a sharper pace in the three months ahead (-29%), compared to the past three months (-18%).
The composite measure – based on 638 responses to CBI surveys between 16 December and 14 January also found consumer services firms expect activity to fall at the sharpest pace (-79%), after another heavy decline over the past quarter (-59%).
Distribution sales volumes (-45%) and manufacturing output (-24%) are also anticipated to fall. However, business and professional services expect another easing in the rate of decline (-6%).
This downbeat assessment follows another decline in overall private sector activity for the three months to January (-18%, from -21% in December).
Within this, manufacturing