25/02/13

Commenting on the Moody's downgrade of the UK's AAA credit rating, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"The latest downgrade by Moody's has not come as much of a surprise. We have been predicting for quite some time that the UK's credit rating would be downgraded if growth is not achieved, while emphasising that growth is just as important as deficit reduction. We must now wait to see how the markets react.

"However, the ratings are backwards looking and reflect a sluggish economic performance. The fact that the ratings spell has been broken allows the Chancellor to be braver on growth, provided the growth stimulus sought reflects market sentiment. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor will have to look into more radical measures in the next six months, to stimulate exports, generate infrastructure development and create a business finance environment which favours enterprise and growth. 

"We cannot simply hope for better times. Hope is not a strategy. So far, the implementation of growth measures by the government has been at the pace of coastal erosion. Urgent action is needed in the Budget next month to get the economy moving again, and any lacklustre performance will not be acceptable." 

Ends

Notes to editors:

The BCC’s Annual Conference, entitled Building a New Model Economy, is taking place on 14th March 2013. For more information or to register for a free press pass, please visit http://www.bccconference.co.uk/index.php  or contact the press office.

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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. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk