THE Confederation of British Industry has cut its forecast of UK expansion this year, declaring Britain now finds itself in the “slow lane” for growth, and highlighted continuing pressure on household finances.

In its latest economic forecasts, published today, the CBI projects the UK economy will grow by just 1.4% this year in December. It had projected 2018 expansion of 1.5%.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show the UK grew by only 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in the opening three months of this year, weighed down by underlying economic weakness as well as freezing temperatures and heavy snow.

The UK economy has been weighed down in recent times by Brexit-related effects. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has been among those to highlight the dampening impact of the Brexit vote on investment. And household incomes having been hit by the surge in inflation fuelled by sterling’s weakness in the wake of the June 2016 vote.

The CBI projects UK economic growth will be just 1.3% in 2019.

It said: “The main themes of the outlook remain unchanged. Despite real pay growth inching into positive territory, living standards will continue to be dogged by weak productivity. As a result, any further pick-up in real wages is likely to be modest, continuing to weigh on consumer spending throughout our forecast.”

The CBI highlighted a need to boost UK productivity.

Chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “Snow-capped a sluggish start to 2018 for the UK economy, and there’s no disguising that Britain now finds itself in the ‘slow lane’ for growth.”