Britain’s recovery is gaining traction, data showed on Wednesday, as the Bank of England upgraded its UK growth forecasts for the second time in as many months and a closely-watched manufacturing survey showed confidence is now at its highest level in more than four decades. The Bank revised up its forecast for first-quarter growth to 1pc, from 0.9pc last month and 0.8pc in February’s Inflation Report.
“Growth in the second quarter is expected to be only a little weaker,” minutes from April’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting said on Wednesday. This suggests annualised growth in the first half of this year will average around 3.4pc.
The Bank noted that “output had grown consistently across all sectors in January and February” as strong consumer spending was matched by robust growth in manufacturing, further “strong” signals from business surveys and a better-than-expected contribution from UK trade.