Exporters lead fragile recovery say British Chambers

19 April 2012

There are signs of an upswing in the UK economy but the recovery is fragile and growth too slow, according to the latest quarterly survey from the British Chambers of Commerce. The survey shows that while the UK has the potential to recover, growth remains too slow and government action is required to set businesses free to expand.

The BCC survey results indicate that there has been a noticeable improvement in activity for many businesses during the first three months of the year compared to the last quarter of 2011 when stagflation appeared to be taking hold.

Despite the upswing – especially among manufacturers – activity levels remain well below those seen before the recession kicked in. More businesses are planning to invest in staff, training, plant and machinery but cash flow still remains a pressing problem almost everywhere. And the survey highlights fears that rising oil and food prices may drive up inflation during the coming months.

Overseas sales are proving to be stronger than domestic orders but are still significantly below those seen before the economic downturn. Both deliveries and orders were up compared to the previous quarter.

Confidence also increased during the first quarter compared to the previous one but is still weak by historical standards. Click here to read the survey.