One of the UK's leading business groups today said clouds are gathering on the horizon, and they risk pushing Britain into "a new economic storm", as it warned politicians do not have room for complacency.
In the BCC's new year's message, chief economist John Longworth said businesses and consumers will be left exposed when the Bank of England starts raising interest rates from the current record low of 0.5 per cent.
"The UK has been too reliant on consumer spending and asset transactions, driven by increased borrowing, for far too long, and this leaves the economy at risk," he said.
"The government has to stop wasting opportunities to radically reshape the UK economy."
Longworth called on politicians to look beyond the question of Britain's membership to the European Union this year, and focus on the broader economic picture.
"There’s so much that needs to be done, from infrastructure and tax to skills and export support. 2016 must be a year of action, focused on preparing the British economy for the future," he said.
The economist also criticised government ministers for missing a number of big opportunities to institute real change last year.
These included the failure to decide on a new airport runway in the South East, prioritising political priorities over economic necessities in the Spending Review and freezing the tax burden of the individual at the expense of business.