British Chambers of Commerce calls for faster growth
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Businesses in the UK are not growing at the rate required for a sustainable economic recovery, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warns.
The BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey for the second quarter of 2012 indicates that companies are growing, but balances have yet to return to pre-recession levels.
John Longworth, director general of the BCC, is now urging the government to take a 'bold and imaginative' approach to boosting growth in the UK.
In his list of recommendations, Longworth puts forward a suggestion to create a state-backed business bank as well as increasing investment in infrastructure.
Further findings from the research of some 7,800 businesses show that domestic orders are weak, with balances measuring domestic activity indicating little net overall change.
The home deliveries balance for manufacturing fell three points to +9 per cent, and in services stayed at +10 per cent, during the second quarter of 2012.
Exporting activity is highlighted by the BCC as a brighter area, with balances for the service and manufacturing sectors up by seven points to +31 per cent for manufacturing and eight points to +24 per cent for services.
The balance of manufacturing companies reporting a rise in forward-looking domestic orders rose two points to +8 per cent, but in services fell two points to +5 per cent.
When questioned about employment, some 16 per cent of manufacturing firms say that new hiring had occurred during the last few months, while 10 per cent of those in the service sector had made the same move.
Longworth comments, 'While domestic growth continues to bump along the bottom, the silver lining is an increase in firms looking for export opportunities, and in many cases, with countries outside Europe.
'Growth cannot wait. The government must take an imaginative and brave approach to stimulating the economy and helping businesses thrive. The creation of a business bank would ensure that new and growing companies can access the finance they need to invest in new products and services, export to new markets, and take on more staff.'