BCC calls for government to stimulate growth
By PRW Staff
Posted 2 October 2012
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has urged the government to focus on policies that will create “the right business environment in which firms can invest and grow”.
John Longworth, director-general of the BCC, said the results of the organisation’s latest quarterly economic survey – which showed a stagnating domestic market and a fall in exports – constituted “a clear signal to government that more needs to be done to stimulate growth alongside deficit reduction”.
Longworth said the BCC’s survey of more than 7,500 businesses, found that the economy was 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,” he added.
The BCC was proposing a ‘growth voucher’ scheme which would see 20,000 small businesses offered £5,000-worth of support to jump start investment and expansion plans.
Meanwhile David Kern, the BCC’s chief economist, said the recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) assessment of the economy was “too gloomy”.
“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 was the BCC’s second quarter survey pointed to a stronger economy than the ONS suggested.
“Starting from the ONS estimate that GDP fell by 0.4% in the second quarter, we expect positive quarterly growth of 0.5% in the third,” he added.
However, until “excessive debt levels” had been substantially reduced, Kern said businesses and consumers “will have to accept a prolonged period of relatively low growth”.
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