[LONDON] Growth in Britain's private sector slowed in the three months to September as the manufacturing sector stagnated for the first time in more than two years, according a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The findings support the view that Britain's economy will grow by less in the third quarter than in the second three months of the year, as sluggishness in the construction and retail sectors, as well as manufacturing, take their toll.
The CBI said on Thursday its monthly growth indicator - based on separate surveys of manufacturers, retailers and services - fell to +22 in September, from +31 in August.
Despite the fall, the indicator remained well above its long-run average. "Some manufacturers are having a tough time. The strength of the pound is hitting exports to the euro zone and emerging markets have lost some of their sparkle," Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's director of economics, said.
A slowdown in manufacturing could complicate the Bank of England's decision about when to increase interest rates for the first time since before the financial crisis, as a rate hike is likely to strengthen the pound further and weigh on exports.
The private sector's expectations for output growth fell to +25, the lowest since April.