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BCC: Economy performing well

15/04/14

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a new report in which it expresses optimism about the development of the UK's economy over the coming years.

Its quarterly survey found that most major balances recorded over Q1 are higher than their long-term averages, with many reaching the pre-recession levels last seen in 2007.

Exports are up in the services sector, while six manufacturing balances reached all-time highs.

Domestic sales, domestic orders, employment expectations, investment in machinery, training spend and turnover confidence all soared along with the overall economic outlook, according to the BCC.

With the services sector also looking positive, it seems that financial officers across the country are becoming more confident in the prospect of a sustained period of growth.

John Longworth, BCC director general, said confidence is high among businesses as the recovery continues.

"We are brilliant at services and very successful at exporting our knowledge-based industries all over the world. This includes everything from accountancy and marketing through to literature and the IT sector," he declared.

However, he suggested that further support will be needed if UK firms are to fulfil their potential over the coming years.

"Access to finance and export support also remain vital if we are to secure a truly great economic recovery," said Mr Longworth.

He concluded by urging the Bank of England to maintain its business-friendly approach, expressing his hope that interest rates will stay low and inflation will be dealt with effectively.

BCC chief economist David Kern expressed the opinion that the ongoing economic recovery is still overly reliant on consumer spending, suggesting that exports need to step up and offer more to the country's businesses.

"So while this period of low inflation and low interest rates cannot last forever, every effort must be made to sustain it for as long as possible," he added.

This follows a report along similar lines from Deloitte, which canvassed the views of chief financial officers across the country's biggest firms and found them more willing to put risk on to their balance sheet in the current economic climate.

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