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BCC: Growth continues despite widening trade deficit

• GDP growth in Q3 was confirmed at 0.7% and annual growth was confirmed at 3.0%
• All main output categories are up; services by 0.8%, construction by 0.8% and production by 0.2%
• Household consumption rose by 0.8% in Q3, and investment increased by 1.0% - but within this business investment fell by 0.7%
• The trade deficit widened sharply in Q3, as exports fell by 0.4% and imports increased by 1.4%

Commenting on the revised estimate of UK GDP, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“These figures confirm that the UK’s recovery remains on track. Although the pace of growth slowed compared to Q2, it is pleasing to see annual growth at 3.0%. Yet there are some points of concern in the detail, in particular the slight fall in business investment is disappointing, although annual figures still show strong growth of 6.3%.

“However, the most concerning aspect of these figures is the widening trade deficit, as exports fell and imports rose. Our exporters are facing serious challenges abroad, so now is the time to invest even more in supporting and promoting international trade, particularly outside the eurozone. We expect the Chancellor to address the UK’s trade deficit in next week’s Autumn Statement.”

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