Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce cuts UK growth fore­cast

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

LON­DON: The Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce cut its fore­cast for eco­nomic growth on Fri­day, blam­ing a weaker global econ­omy, and said the coun­try's per­for­mance was lack­lus­ter com­pared to the past. Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct is fore­cast to rise by 2.2 per­cent this year and 2.3 per­cent in 2017, sim­i­lar to growth in 2015 and down from fore­casts of 2.5 per­cent for 2016 and 2017 made in De­cem­ber.

"The UK's eco­nomic per­for­mance is rea­son­ably good when mea­sured against our main com­peti­tors, but it's only medi­ocre when com­pared against long-term trends," BCC act­ing di­rec­tor­gen­eral Adam Mar­shall said. Other fore­cast­ers have made sim­i­lar down­grades since the start of the year, and econ­o­mists polled by Reuters last month on av­er­age fore­cast growth of 2.2 per­cent in 2016 and 2017.

The BCC urged fi­nance min­is­ter Ge­orge Os­borne to use next week's an­nual bud­get state­ment to boost in­vest­ment in trans­port and dig­i­tal in­fra­struc­ture, and made no men­tion of Bri­tain's June 23 ref­er­en­dum on Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship. BCC di­rec­tor­gen­eral John Long­worth quit this week af­ter say­ing he wanted to leave the EU, which the BCC's pres­i­dent said breached the body's neu­tral po­si­tion on the EU.

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