Output volumes in the three months to February grew at their fastest pace since records began, according to the latest Confederation of British Industry Growth Indicator.
Coinciding with the release of official figures showing that GDP grew strongly in the fourth quarter of 2013, the Growth Indicator showed economic momentum has carried through at a healthy pace into the beginning of this year.
The survey of 639 respondents across manufacturing, retail and services registered the fastest growth in output volumes (+32%) since the CBI’s records began in late 2003.
Growth was broad-based and slightly faster than the three months to January at +30%.
Firms also remain optimistic about the outlook for output growth over the next quarter, with the expectations balance also at a record 41%, representing a big rise on last month’s +28%.
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 and growth broad-based across manufacturing, retail and service sectors.
“The surge in confidence among firms for the next quarter suggests the recovery will continue to gain traction.
“Looking ahead, strengthening global growth and supportive monetary policy should continue to bolster a broadening and deepening recovery in the UK.”