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BCC Head of Economics warns UK economy still faltering despite a return to growth in May

Brexit uncertainty is continuing to adversely affect the UK economy, despite the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing a return to growth in May.

According to Suren Thiru, Head of Economics for the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the UK economy is still faltering despite the latest statistics.

The economy grew 0.3% from the month before, after declining 0.4% in April, according to the ONS.

Suren Thiru said: “Although there was modest rally in GDP growth between April and May, the continued slowdown on the underlying three-month measure is further evidence that the UK economy is faltering under the weight of relentless Brexit uncertainty and tougher global economic conditions.

“Manufacturing activity picked-up in May as car production reopened, but the longer-term measures point to a sector under pressure from the running down of excess stock, tougher global trading conditions and rising upfront costs.

“There was a welcome narrowing in the UK’s trade deficit in May, largely reflecting both a decline in imports and a rise in export goods. However, Brexit uncertainty, the absence of clarity on fundamentals aspects of trade conditions after October 31st, and a slowing global economy are likely to increasingly weigh on the UK’s net trade position over the medium-term.

“Against this backdrop, it is vital that the next Prime Minister prioritises avoiding a messy and disorderly exit from the EU, as such a departure would likely trigger a marked deterioration in economic conditions. More must also be done to boost the UK’s growth trajectory by delivering the transformative infrastructure projects needed to secure the UK’s economic future.”

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