UK business confidence up & service exports at all-time high

The UK economy is growing, but the recovery should be less reliant on consumer spending, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said.

The business group also said that the UK’s service sector is seeing record levels of export sales and manufacturing is growing too.

Results from BCC’s quarterly poll of 8,000 firms show that access to finance is one of the main barriers to growth.

David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, said: “The results of our survey suggest that growth is strengthening in the short-term, and support our recent forecasts that the economic recovery is moving at a solid pace.

“But challenges persist and despite this progress, the recovery is not yet secure.

“UK growth is still reliant on consumer spending, driven by a resurgent housing market and a declining savings ratio.

“Given that UK personal debt levels are too high and need to fall, it will be hard to maintain growth levels in the medium-term without significant structural changes to our economy.

“Our current account deficit is the largest in the G7 and will pose long-term risks unless it is tackled. Investment and exports must play a larger contribution to our economic future, or else there is a risk that our recovery could stall.”

Trade Minister Ian Livingston said: “The findings in this survey are really encouraging. They are the latest sign that international demand for British products is growing.

“As part of Export Week we are holding over 70 events across the UK to encourage companies that have not thought about selling abroad to start and encouraging existing exporters to expand to new markets.”

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