Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

UK economy growth to slow in 2011

THE economy will grow by less than expected next year, but growth in 2012 will be better than predicted, the British Chambers of Commerce forecasts.

It downgraded its forecast for the UK’s GDP growth in 2011 from the 2.2% it predicted in September to 1.9% now.

The BCC blamed the eurozone debt crisis, austerity cuts, weak housing market and VAT rise from 17.5% to 20%.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) recently downgraded its 2011 growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.1%.

The BCC was even more bearish, suggesting year-on-year growth will slow from 3% in the final quarter of 2010 to 1.4% in the second half of next year.

But it said the economy was sufficiently robust to avoid slipping back into recession - and was more upbeat moving forward because of private sector growth.

It upgraded its GDP growth forecasts for 2012 from 1.8% to 2.1% - but that was still significantly lower than the OBR’s 2.6% estimate.

The BCC, which represents hundreds of small businesses, also reduced its unemployment forecast for the second half of 2012, estimating the number of people out of work to fall by 50,000 to 2.6 million.

Inflation, meanwhile, would remain above 3% for the whole of 2011, it added.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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