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BCC cuts growth forecasts but says Britain will avoid ‘triple-dip’ recession

 

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has downgraded its growth forecast for this year amid ongoing uncertainty over the UK economy.

 

Publishing its latest predictions for the economy, the business lobby group cut its growth forecast from 1% to 0.6% for 2013 and from 1.8% to 1.7% for 2014.

 

It said its downward revision was due to numerous factors, including the contraction of GDP in Q4 2012 and ‘worsening prospects in the Eurozone’.

 

However, it added that speculation over the UK entering a ‘triple-dip’ recession was currently ‘pessimistic’.

 

‘We expect quarterly growth to increase very gradually over the next two years, but it will remain modest and below-trend for some time,’ commented David Kern, chief economist at the BCC.

 

‘In addition, we now expect GDP to return to its pre-recession levels early in 2015, and the squeeze on living standards will continue for a while longer.’

 

The downgrade has prompted calls for the Chancellor George Osborne to take ‘decisive action’ in this month’s Budget to enable businesses to ‘create jobs, invest and export’.

 

‘More must be done to support the ambitions of growing companies, many of whom will be the wealth creators of tomorrow,’ said the BCC’s director general, John Longworth.

 

‘This is why we are calling for decisive action in the Budget. The Government must make a serious effort to deliver on the many promises already made’.