The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned that the UK economy is set for its ‘weakest year’ of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since 2009.
In its latest economic forecast, the BCC has downgraded its growth expectations for the UK economy.
It now predicts that GDP growth will reach 1.3% – a slight fall when compared to its previous forecast of 1.4%. The BCC also downgraded its GDP forecast for 2019 from 1.5% to 1.4%.
The business group attributed the revised figures to a ‘lacklustre outlook’ for consumer spending, business investment and trade.
It predicts that growth in business investment will slow from 2.4% in 2017 to 0.9% in 2018, and stated that ‘high costs’ associated with doing business in the UK have contributed to the downgrade, alongside ‘ongoing uncertainty’ in regard to the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
‘A decade on from the start of the financial crisis, the UK now faces another extended period of weak growth amidst a backdrop of both domestic and global uncertainty,’ said Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC.
‘Our forecast should serve as a wake-up call to the government – as it demonstrates that ‘business as usual’ is not an option when it comes to the economy.
‘With firms facing ongoing Brexit uncertainty, increasing global protectionism and instability in some parts of the world that will impact on costs and profits, now is the time for more robust action to support business confidence and investment.’