Growth in Britain’s private sector fell to its slowest rate in three years in January, according to the latest survey by the Confederation of British Industry released on Tuesday.

The CBI’s monthly growth indicator rose a little, to +8 from +6 in January, but still remained slow. Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s director of economics, said:

“The British economy has made a slow start to the year, and growth has remained in the doldrums in February.

“With global risks increasing this year following the volatility seen in financial markets, businesses will be keeping a close eye on any possible impact on domestic activity.”


Two major surveys gauging China’s manufacturing activity have indicated a further slowdown in growth, becoming the latest in a string of disappointing economic figures for the country.

China’s Purchasing Manager’s Index figure fell to 49.0 in February, down from 49.4 the month before. Any figure below 50 represents contraction. On top of this, the private Caixin PMI survey for smaller businesses came in at a reading of 48.0, its lowest in five months.

These are the latest figure suggesting that the Chinese government’s attempts to control its economic decline with a series of stimuli, such Monday’s lowering of the reserve rate ratio, are not working as well as intended.

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