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BCC calls for action after figures show growth at lowest rate for a decade

Figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed growth in the UK economy has slowed to its lowest rate in almost a decade.

Year-on-year GDP growth slowed to 1% in the three months to the end of September – the lowest since the first three months of 2010.

The economy avoided recession after expanding 0.3% in the three months to the end of September – the economy shrunk in the second quarter and two quarters of contraction would have signalled a recession.

But in the three months to the end of September, the economy did not grow as fast as the 0.4% forecast by economists.

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “While there was welcome confirmation that the UK avoided recession in the third quarter, the stronger headline figure masks an alarming loss of momentum through the quarter from a relatively strong July outturn and therefore does little to suggest any meaningful improvement in UK’s underlying growth trajectory. 

“The dominant services sector was the main driver of GDP growth in the quarter with industrial production and construction sectors adding little to overall UK GDP growth. 

“Despite the pick-up in growth, a slowing global economy has weakened firms’ cashflow, disrupted supply chains and stifled investment and is likely to squeeze economic activity in the fourth quarter and beyond, unless action is taken. 

“Against this backdrop, more must be done to boost the UK’s economic growth prospects. With interest rates already close to historical lows, the extent to which further rate cuts are able to significantly stimulate the economy is limited. 

“It is vital that any incoming government drives the UK’s growth trajectory forward by investing in infrastructure and incentivising greater business investment.” 

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