Regional chief welcomes upturn in economy

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Darrell Matthews, North West Region Director for EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has welcomed further signs that the economy is recovering in 2014.

According to the latest CBI Growth Indicator, output volumes in the three months to February grew at their fastest pace since records began.

It comes as official figures confirmed that GDP grew strongly in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Growth Indicator provides further evidence that economic momentum has carried through at a healthy pace into the beginning of 2014.

Mr Matthews said: “While household spending was again the main driver of activity there was an encouraging uptick in business investment and a small positive contribution from net exports.

“Looking forward, the near-term outlook remains positive given the positive opening months of 2014 and, with the risks to the global economy appearing more balanced than for a number of years, the key question for 2014 is whether companies are feeling sufficiently confident to translate their strong investment intentions into concrete action.

“Next month’s Budget must send out a powerful signal that government will continue to act on delivering a competitive business environment that will give the private sector confidence to invest.”

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “The recovery is gaining real momentum with growth in output volumes at the highest since our records began.”