Growth to return?

Another day, another grim set of growth forecasts? Not quite.

I’ve just had a browse of the latest update from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) – and while you won’t be at all surprised to hear it doesn’t make for wonderful reading, it looks as though there is some hope on the horizon.

Forecasts from the CBI – the big business lobbying group – show the UK economy is set to contract this year by 0.3 per cent, driven by “weaker economic conditions”.

The forecasts follow official data from the Office for National Statistics that shows the economy shrank by 0.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

But it’s not all bad news.

The CBI said the economy would recover slightly in late 2012 and pick up by 1.2 per cent in 2013 (although that is down from an earlier forecast of two per cent).

“Underlying growth will return to the economy later in the year than previously expected, with a somewhat better outlook next year,” said John Cridland, the CBI’s director general.

A few bright spots then, a few slivers of hope. With unemployment improving and some growth set to return, could this be the confidence boost business needs?

Time, as ever, will tell.