Economy Toils As Recession Bites

15 Feb 2024

Published in: Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

Chambers respond to the ONS’ first GDP estimate for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Sarah Moorhouse, CEO at Black Country Chamber, said:

“Businesses in the Black Country have been telling us via the Quarterly Economic Survey of the difficulties they face. I’m sure that today’s news of a technical recession comes as no surprise to those businesses who have been struggling with high inflation, high interest rates, coupled with higher costs for almost everything.

"However, we have reason for optimism: many Black Country businesses have told us of their plans to expand and increase their business this year despite the prevailing headwinds, and we have no doubt that with determination and hard work, along with all support that the Chamber can provide, the Black Country economy will continue to improve. We urge all businesses within the region to help keep us informed via the Quarterly Economic Survey, which is out now and can be accessed via our website.”

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Insight at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“A contraction in GDP for the final quarter of 2023 means the UK economy is in technical recession. Businesses were already under no illusion about the difficulties they face, and this news will no doubt ring alarm bells for Government.

“The BCC’s last Quarterly Economic Forecast suggests annual growth below 1.0% for the next two years as firms remained gripped by uncertainty and the twin perils of high inflation and interest rates remain.??

“The Chancellor must use his Budget in just under three weeks’ time to set out a clear pathway for firms and the economy to grow.

“Businesses are crying out for a long-term economic plan that reduces the cost pressures they are facing and unlocks the investment they so sorely need.”

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