Accountants predict robust UK growth to bounce back in 2014

AFTER good growth figures were revealed for the second quarter, a major group of accountants has raised its growth forecast for the UK, citing the strongest business confidence since 2010.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) announced today that it expects 2.3 per cent growth next year, after 1.5 per cent growth this year, in line with the predictions of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As recently as June, the group only predicted a one per cent expansion.

However, the group’s confidence monitor also suggests that firms are not ready to make vital investments: surveys predict only a 1.6 per cent increase in capital spending over the next 12 months. Similar levels were recorded earlier in 2013, before the second quarter’s healthy 0.7 per cent growth was revealed.

ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza admitted some worries: “We must create the conditions to sustain this recovery in the longer term. We are concerned to what extent the current recovery is being driven more by consumer demand and continual public spending. We would like to see greater investment by businesses and stronger exports.”