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Recession avoided but tough year ahead  

While the UK “technically avoided a recession” the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data reveals some worrying trends, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned.

According to the ONS figures, the economy saw zero growth between October and December.

David Bharier, Head of Research at the BCC, said: “The GDP estimates, while indicating the economy technically avoided a recession, show some worrying developments.

“Production output fell by 0.2% in Q4 2022, eight of the 14 service sectors saw contractions and monthly GDP fell by 0.5% in December.  

“Small businesses have seen three years of economic shocks, including lockdowns, global supply chain crises, Brexit, and soaring energy costs.  

“Our research has shown that most small firms have seen no improvements to sales, exports, or investment. Retailers and hospitality firms are among the worst affected by this current anaemic economy. 

“There is some relief ahead in falling energy prices and with the potential peak in inflation. But firms face other headwinds, including continuing strike action and further uncertainty around our trading relationship with Europe.

“Businesses will need to see a long-term plan for growth and concrete action in the upcoming Budget, including plans on infrastructure, tax, skills, and trade.” 

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