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British Chambers of Commerce forecasts end to recession

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by Jan Harris
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According to the British Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly economic survey gross domestic product will grow by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, marking an end to the recession.

The BCC is optimistic for growth in the third quarter despite the UK’s continuing weak economic performance.

It says that data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that the UK has been in a technical recession for three consecutive quarters “is too gloomy”.

However, it believes the economy is losing momentum and it is calling for the Government to accelerate the launch of a dedicated business bank and to boost its infrastructure investment programme.

David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, said: “The job of repairing Britain’s public finances will take longer to complete than initially planned.

“Despite official estimates, we believe the economy is still growing, but it is slowing.

“We need immediate measures now to support confidence and investment, a radical long-term growth plan, and a continued commitment to deficit reduction.”

The BCC’s quarterly economic survey covers 7,593 businesses across the UK.

Despite the BCC’s guarded optimism for economic growth, the latest Markit/CIPS survey shows that the construction sector continued to decline in September.

Activity in the construction sector increased to 49.5 in September, with numbers about 50 indicating growth.

However the result was an improvement on August when the construction industry was given a score of 49.

Both residential and commercial building activity slowed in September, but this was partly offset by a return to civil engineering growth.

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit said: “The principal take out from September’s PMI survey is that underlying construction weakness is likely to continue for the remainder of 2012.

“The current stretch of falling new orders is now the longest seen for three years.”

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News posted: October 2, 2012

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