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No GDP growth in April but broader trend ticks up

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has urged people to focus on long-term statistics rather than standalone monthly data after information from the Office for National Statistics showed the UK economy failed to grow in April.

David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce, at the BCC said while there has been no growth in April, it was important to “focus on the broader trend, rather than volatile monthly movements”.

He said: ““Growth of 0.7% in the three months to April is positive news. Our own forecast, released last week, has upgraded growth expectations for 2024 to 0.8%, rising to 1% in 2025.

“However, while the broader trend is ticking up, downside risks remain. Many businesses we speak to are still held back by skills shortages, high borrowing costs, and trade barriers with the EU. Sectoral performance remains very imbalanced, with retail and hospitality sectors consistently reporting weaker growth.

“With unemployment rising and inflation slowing, pressure will be growing on the Bank of England to cut the interest rate. But to boost investment, any cut needs to be accompanied by clear action from the next Government.

“As we set out in our election manifesto they must prioritise on unlocking growth across skills, business rates, trade, AI and green innovation.”

More detail on the latest ONS GDP data can be found here.

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