BCC: UK Economy 'Has Avoided Recession'
The UK economy has avoided recession but more measures to boost growth are needed, a leading businesses lobby group has warned.
Britain's economy will grow by 0.5% in the third quarter of this year - but it is losing momentum, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said in its Quarterly Economic Survey.
Its findings contradict data from the Office for National Statistics - which show the UK is in recession - because the 7,500 businesses surveyed by the BCC continue to report growth rather than contraction in output.
"While the official assessment that the UK was in technical recession for three consecutive quarters is still too gloomy in our view, it is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too long," David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, said.
He added that repairing Britain's finances will take "longer than planned".
"But, if the Chancellor demonstrates firm commitment to a credible fiscal plan, additional spending policies aimed at creating growth will help preserve market credibility," he said.
Both manufacturing and services firms showed worsening investment levels, it found, with fewer firms are looking to invest in training and machinery.
Confidence in future turnover and profit has fallen to levels last seen at the end of 2011, it said, and the Government's austerity cuts combined with the eurozone debt crisis have hit domestic and export demand.
The BCC's director general, John Longworth, called on ministers to consider new measures to help the economy grow.
"The results should be a clear signal to Government that more needs to be done to stimulate growth alongside continued deficit reduction," he said.
"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."