Somerset Chamber

Talk to the team 01823 444924


Tell us your business news

Learn more


Chamber news

UK growth better than expected

The British Chambers of Commerce has called on the new Government to capitalise on the latest data which showed the UK economy grew faster than expected in May, expanding by 0.4%.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the figure was boosted by a strong performance from retailers and the construction industry and comes after zero growth in April.

The services sector, which dominates the UK economy and covers businesses such as hairdressers and hospitality, grew by 0.3% in May, while the construction sector jumped by 1.9%.

David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The UK has had a strong start to the year and data showing 0.9% growth in GDP in the three months to May is better than expected.

“Growth for May itself also ticked up at 0.4%, with the services sector performing well. This is further evidence that the economic shocks of the last five years are winding down as businesses get back onto a growth footing.

Our latest economic survey, published earlier this week, showed business confidence has improved. However, that positive sentiment is not yet translating into increased investment for most SMEs. The BCC’s most recent quarterly economic forecast expects GDP growth of 0.8% for the whole of 2024.

“It’s important that the new Government capitalises on this momentum, and it was encouraging to hear the Chancellor focus on boosting growth in her first speech on Monday. This is a major priority for businesses, especially after five years of economic shocks.

“We’ve been clear about where government should be focused to unlock investment. Our Future of the Economy report calls for an industrial strategy with green innovation at its heart, better skills planning, business rates reform, improving our trade relationship with the EU, and helping SMEs access the opportunities of AI.”

Connect. Influence. Grow.

Join Somerset Chamber of Commerce to give your business a stronger voice both locally, regionally and nationally. Combined with local town chambers, we represent over 2,000 businesses across Somerset with a direct line to policy-makers at all levels.

Discover the benefitsJoin now