• UK GDP in Q4 2011 down 0.2% on the quarter; up 0.7% on the year
  • In 2011 as a whole, GDP rose 0.8%

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

“These figures confirm that GDP fell 0.2% in the final quarter of last year, which was largely as expected. There was a significant fall in investment over the quarter which was disappointing, but consumer spending rose 0.5% and there was a large improvement in net trade.

“Although the UK economy faces many challenges, we believe it has returned to positive growth in the first quarter of the year and a recession will be avoided. But the austerity plan and problems in the eurozone will create obstacles for the economy, which is why the government must place growth at the top of its agenda.

“Priorities must be reallocated within the overall spending envelope with greater emphasis on policies to boost growth. With total borrowing in the current financial year likely to be around £8bn below the OBR’s estimate in November, we believe that the Chancellor can increase spending in the Budget by some £4bn while still maintaining market credibility. He should use this flexibility to implement policies that will enable businesses to create jobs and drive recovery.”

Notes to editors:

ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/naa2/second-estimate-of-gdp/q4-2011/index.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. For more information visit: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/

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