BCC comments on GDP and trade figures

11th January 2019

Commenting on the GDP and trade statistics for November 2018, published by the ONS today, Mike Spicer, Director of Research and Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: -Despite a small improvement in GDP growth between October and November, the underlying three-month measure showed an economy that was slowing after what had been a stronger performance in the previous quarter.

This is reinforced by the results of our own Quarterly Economic Survey, which found that the UK economy was stuck in a weak holding pattern at the end of 2018. -The trade deficit narrowed slightly in the month but has widened considerably over the year. These are testing times for many exporters who are feeling the pressure of Brexit uncertainty and broader global issues in the trading environment. Businesses continue to report concern over exchange rates and pressure on prices from the rising cost of materials. -As the clock ticks ever closer to March, businesses are becoming increasingly frustrated and looking to Westminster for clarity and precision on the future terms of trade. Firms need to know what customs procedures they will face with their nearest neighbour and other important partners in just over ten weeks.

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