BCC confident the UK will avoid triple dip recession

2nd April 2013 | News

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) believes the UK is set to avoid falling back into recession for a third time.
Strong performance by the nation’s service industries during the first quarter of 2013 has ensured the economy has continued to grow in the opening three months of the year.
The BCC has revealed it predicts the UK economy will record “positive but subdued growth” throughout the remainder of 2013.
Its recent survey found that conditions for both the services and manufacturing sectors were improving, but the services sector saw some of the most influential improvements, with strong domestic sales and exports.
David Kern, chief economist for the BCC, believes the results of its most recent survey indicated the economy had grown in Q1 2013, contrary to the picture of the economy painted by official figures.
"The survey reinforces our assessment that recent [official] gross domestic product figures have exaggerated the weakness of the UK economy and volatility in output," he said.
"If an announcement of negative growth in the first quarter is misleadingly described as a triple-dip recession, confidence will again be damaged unnecessarily."
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is due to give its preliminary estimates for GDP growth for the first quarter later this month.
Its figures show the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in Q4 of 2012. An economy is considered to be in recession if it contracts for two consecutive quarters, so the ONS’ latest estimate will provide a clear indication of our nation’s current financial plight.
John Longworth, director general of the BCC, believes their survey figures indicate a "long and tortuous road to recovery".
"These results provide a glimpse of the as-yet distant sunlit uplands of recovery," he said.
"Businesses up and down the country are working hard to drive the economy, create jobs and export, but they cannot accelerate this process alone."