Business boost hope

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NORTH East business leaders are predicting a “pick up” in the economic recovery.

The CBI has cut its national growth forecast for 2012 to 0.6 per cent, from the 0.9 per cent estimated in February, after official figures revealed the economy fell back into recession in the first three months of the year.

But the group, which represents companies across the country, said optimism among businesses had been increasing and manufacturing demand had held up, pointing towards increased momentum.

Sarah Green, regional director for the CBI, said: “Despite the disappointing GDP estimate for the first quarter from the ONS, we still think the UK economy will grow in 2012, with faster growth next year.”