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BCC revises UK growth forecast
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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has made a downwards revision to its 2012 growth forecast, as the economic recovery continues to stutter.
Previously, the organisation had predicted growth of 0.6 per cent, but this has now been downgraded to a gross domestic product rise of just 0.1 per cent.
The first quarter of the year saw the economy contract by 0.3 per cent, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
And with the eurozone crisis showing few signs of abating, the BCC does not expect GDP growth to turn positive during Q2 2012.
Instead, the BCC is expecting a gradual improvement in economic conditions from Q3 onwards, with growth reaching 1.9 per cent in 2013, up from the previous forecast of 1.8 per cent.
John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said the latest forecast underlines the need for bold action to deliver growth.
"Businesses are busting a gut in an uncertain environment, and they will need to continue to do so," he stated.
"But if companies are to accept uncertainty as the new norm, then they must be met with a bold, enterprise-friendly government to enable them to grow in the long term."
Mr Longworth said that without government working together with business, the economy will continue to "bump along the bottom for longer than we’d all like".
He called for measures such as the creation of a business bank, which would provide capital to new and growing companies.
Domestic deregulation, and a moratorium on new European regulation that hinders businesses, would also help the private sector drive a recovery, Mr Longworth suggested.
“We need growth, and we need it now," he stated.
"If the government works together with the private sector to create the right environment over the long term, we’ll be able to prove once and for all that bold businesses can propel us forward, out of stagnation and firmly on the road to recovery."
Posted by Jon Aspinell
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