CBI more optimistic over growth

The
CBI has raised its forecast for economic growth this year, predicting that
rising exports, a revival in business investment and strong consumer spending
will drive the recovery.

In
its quarterly economic forecast, the CBI put UK growth at 3 per cent in 2004,
which is an upward revision of 0.2 per cent. However, growth is expected to
slow slightly in 2005.

Export
volumes are expected to grow by 4 per cent in 2004 and 5.3 per cent in 2005.
Following a long period of decline, manufacturing is expected to grow by 3 per
cent in 2004.

Unemployment
is also expected to fall from the current level of 5 per cent to 4.5 per cent
(134,000 people) by the end of 2005.

By
Roisin Woolnough

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