• UK GDP in Q4 2011 down -0.2% in the quarter, up 0.8% in the year.

Commenting on the preliminary estimates for GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The first estimates for growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 are disappointing, and worse than many anticipated. However, it is important to bear in mind that preliminary numbers are often revised. Recent surveys (including our own Quarterly Economic Survey) showed a slightly better performance and the latest figures for public finances and retail sales were better than expected.

“The UK economy is facing difficult challenges, but there is no need for undue pessimism. The latest forecast published by the IMF showed a downward revision from other estimates. But it also predicts that the UK economy will outperform not just the Eurozone as a block, but major economies such as Germany and France.

“The government must persevere with its important job of cutting the deficit. But the Q4 GDP figures reinforce the need to reallocate priorities within the overall spending envelope to growth-enhancing policies. Reducing red tape, cancelling the planned increase in business rates, providing more support for exporters, and implementing an effective credit-easing programme as soon as possible, will help businesses to grow.”


Notes to editors:

ONS figures: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/gva/gross-domestic-product--preliminary-estimate/q4-2011/stb-q4-2011.html

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk