LONDON Oct 2 Britain's economy has lost
momentum over the past few months, with firms scaling back
investment and hiring plans, business lobby BCC said on Tuesday,
in another sign that a meaningful economic recovery remains
The quarterly survey by the British Chambers of Commerce
(BCC) also showed that domestic and export demand slowed as the
government's austerity drive and the euro zone debt crisis
"Economic growth is weak and businesses are less confident
and less likely to invest than they were at the beginning of the
year," BCC Director General John Longworth said in a statement.
The BCC stuck to its long-held view that the economy has
avoided recession, contradicting data from the Office for
National Statistics, because the 7,593 firms surveyed continued
to report growth rather than contraction in output.
"While the official assessment that the UK was in technical
recession for three consecutive quarters is still too gloomy in
our view, it is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too
long," BCC chief economist David Kern said.
The BCC now predicts growth of 0.5 percent in the third
Most economists reckon official data will show that Britain
posted some economic growth in the third quarter, rebounding
after an extra national holiday in the previous quarter and
helped by sales of tickets for the London Olympics and
But a vigorous return to health is seen as unlikely despite
the Bank of England's efforts to boost the economy with a total
of 375 billion pounds worth of asset purchases. The BCC's survey
provided little reason for optimism.
Manufacturers and service firms reported slower sales growth
and falling orders in Britain, the BCC said. Export demand and
orders growth also weakened.
"Fewer firms are looking to invest in training and plant and
machinery, and confidence in future turnover and profit has
fallen to levels last seen at the end of 2011," the BCC said.
Manufacturers as well as services firms also cut back their
The labour market has been one of the few bright spots in
Britain and employment has risen over the past 12 months despite
the weak economy.