UK ‘out of recession’
Its survey of 7,593 firms across the UK, showed the economy grew by 0.5% between July and September, following three consecutive quarters of contraction.
However, the BCC disputes the Office of National Statistics “gloomy estimation” that economic output fell in the three months to July.
Despite the positive prediction, the BCC said UK economic performance remained weak and inadequate, adding Britain’s public finances would take longer to fix than initially planned.
“It is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too long, and urgent measures are needed to enable businesses to drive a sustainable recovery,” said the BCC’s Chief Economist David Kern.
The survey showed stagnation in the domestic market, as well as a fall in balances measuring exporting activity.
Fewer firms said they were looking to invest in training and plant and machinery, and confidence in future turnover and profit fell to levels last seen at the end of 2011.
Exporters reported a growth in activity, but said this had weakened compared to the quarter before.
“Though most key third quarter balances are weaker than in the second quarter, our results could still signal a return to positive GDP growth in the third quarter,” Kern said.
“This is because our second quarter survey pointed to a stronger economy than the ONS suggested.”
The organisation has proposed a “growth voucher scheme”, which would offer 20,000 small businesses £5,000 worth of advice to kick-start investment and expansion plans.