BCC cuts UK economic forecasts in “wake-up call” as global backdrop darkens

Jessica Morris
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The BCC warned of headwinds from the global economy (Source: Getty)

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has cut its forecasts for UK economic growth in a "wake up" call to policymakers against a darkening global backdrop.

The BCC chopped its estimates for UK gross domestic product growth from 2.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent in 2016, from 2.5 per cent to 2.3 per cent in 2017.

This was also the BCC's first three-year forecast, and it expects Britain’s economy to grow by 2.4 per cent in 2018.

It attributed the downgrades to weaker expected growth across most areas of the economy, which it says reflects a general global slowdown.

Read more: Brexit may push UK into recession

“Our forecast should stand as a wake-up call. 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,” Dr Adam Marshall, acting director general of the BCC, said.

“In turbulent times, a consistent focus on improving infrastructure, sweeping away barriers to business investment, and supporting exporters would be a real recipe for success."

David Kern, Chief Economist at the BCC, added: “Worsening global trends will present the main dangers for the UK economy over the next few years."

"Given the unacceptable size of the current account deficit, failure to achieve a meaningful improvement in net exports will make the UK vulnerable to speculative attacks, and our credit rating could be at risk.”

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