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January 12, 2010    

BCC survey reveals UK on verge of exiting recession

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by Kay Murchie

In its economic survey for the fourth quarter of 2009, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said the UK economy appears to be “on the brink of leaving recession”.

The UK has been lagging behind other economies and is now the last major economy that is still in recession.

Official figures due to be released on 26 January will reveal whether or not the economy experienced positive growth in the fourth quarter and exited recession.

The leading business group’s comments come after its survey revealed improvements in several core national indicators - and a particular boost for manufacturing.

However, the BCC warned that despite exports in the service sector growing, the sector performed worse than manufacturing in the final quarter of 2009.

David Frost, director general of the BCC, comments: “Confidence is improving, and the boost in exports must be nurtured in order to strengthen Britain’s trade position globally, and to help rebalance the economy away from an over-reliance on the public sector.”

David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, adds: “With improvements in most key national indicators, the Q4 results support the view that we are on the brink of leaving recession.

In related news today, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) announced that the High Street experienced the strongest December for eight years, also boosting hopes that the UK economy will have emerged from recession.

According to the BRC, like-for-like sales grew 4.2% by value during December as last-minute Christmas shoppers boosted sales.

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