UK 'must export more for growth'

The Advertiser Series: NEW FORECAST: A stronger labour market has allowed the BCC to upgrade its growth forecast NEW FORECAST: A stronger labour market has allowed the BCC to upgrade its growth forecast

THE UK needs to invest and export more to prevent its world-leading growth being a flash in the pan, a business group has warned.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has upgraded its growth forecast to 3.2 per cent this year and to 2.8 per cent in 2015.

However, it has more than halved its prediction on export growth in goods and services to 0.8 per cent this year.

The upgrade to the BCC's GDP forecasts is due to a stronger labour market but, with interest rates due to rise from early next year, the lobby group is predicting a slight slowdown in the pace of growth from 2015.

David Kern, BCC chief economist, said: "To maintain our world-leading performance, we may have to look to other sources of growth.

"Greater efforts to boost exports and investment and avoiding premature interest rate increases will ensure the recovery is sustainable and that the pace of growth can strengthen in the future."

For 2016, the BCC's GDP growth forecast remains unchanged at 2.5 per cent, but it warns household consumption will slow to 2.2 per cent from 2.9 per cent this year.

John Longworth, BCC director general John Longworth, added: "We are leading, rather than following, other major economies when it comes to short-term growth.

"Businesses up and down the country should be congratulated for their hard work and determination in driving the UK recovery despite a number of international and domestic challenges.

"The task at hand is to ensure that the stellar 2014 growth is not a flash in the pan.

"We need to invest and export more, innovate, and build."

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