Positive GDP figures, but greater efforts needed to broaden recovery

23rd May 2014

GDP figures for 21 2014 unrevised: 0.

8% on the quarter, 3.1% year on year Full-year GDP growth in 2013 over 2012 is also unrevised, at 1.7% In Q1 2014 business investment rose by 2.7%, after 2.4% in Q4 2013 The trade balance narrowed slightly from 4.2bn in Q4 2013 to 4.1bn in Q1 2014 Commenting on the revised GDP figures for Q1 2014 published today by the ONS, David Kern Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: -The unrevised growth figure of 0.8% for Q1 was expected, although the additional detail provided by the ONS was particularly positive and will boost business confidence further. It is pleasing to see strong growth in business investment for the second consecutive quarter, and a welcome improvement in the trade balance. It is a shame however that exports declined in the quarter and the improvement in the trade balance was the result of an even bigger fall in imports. -Some rebalancing towards investment and exports is taking place, but the pace is inadequate and efforts in these areas must be strengthened. Meanwhile, we are concerned that the MPC is not providing enough clarity to allow businesses to plan ahead and invest. After the welcome comments made by Governor Carney last week, Wednesday's MPC minutes have produced an element of uncertainty. To maintain business confidence, it is important that the MPC makes a greater effort to communicate clearly and avoid potential contradictions.

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