The Conference of British Industry (CBI) has upgraded its growth forecasts for 2015, mainly because of lower oil prices and the prospect of a period of low inflation.
The upgrade is not massive — back in November the CBI had forecasted a growth of 2.5% and it has now corrected it to 2.7% — but it is still a significant move coming from one of the biggest lobby group in British industry.
The CBI is the largest association of employers and businessmen in Britain, and includes many companies in the FTSE 100 list.
A more positive economic outlook could suggest rising confidence among employers and act as a trigger for more investments, set to grow by 5.8% this year and 6.5% the next one.
At the same time the report has highlighted a weakness in the export sector. The CBI believes that net trade (the balance between imports and exports of a country) is unlikely to provide much of a boost to growth over the next two years.
Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said that: “UK growth continues to outshine its counterparts in Europe and progress is ‘steady as she goes’.”
The upgrade to the forecast is in line with a recent study from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which last week had forecasted British GDP to grow by almost 3% because of falling oil prices.
The CBI forecasts that oil will remain below $US65 a barrel throughout 2015. This morning, Brent was traded at about $US60 a barrel.