Business leaders are stepping up calls to tackle the “pingdemic” crisis amid warnings it could put economic recovery at risk.

The CBI reported that activity in private firms grew “robustly” in the last three months, at the fastest pace in six years.

Growth is expected to remain strong over the next three months, a survey of more than 500 firms suggested.

Alpesh Paleja, the CBI’s lead economist, said: “The economy has been motoring ahead since restrictions began to lift a few months ago.

“In particular, it is a welcome relief to see consumer services getting a chance to steady the ship as one of the last industries to open up properly.

“For some sectors, growth is inevitably starting to settle towards more ‘normal’ rates, after the initial surge in recent months.

“The economic recovery remains at risk from a number of supply-side bottlenecks, most notably the pingdemic.

“Businesses in all sectors and parts of the country are reporting staff shortages due to self-isolation, significantly impacting their day-to-day operations.

“While a growing exemptions list might help, the best solution is to fast forward the move that allows those people who are double-jabbed to avoid self-isolation, if they are not infectious.”

Business groups are calling for the Government to bring forward the August 16 date date when fully vaccinated people in England can avoid isolation.