Economy facing weak recovery

The UK economy is showing signs of recovery but progress is still weak, a new survey has revealed.

According to the British Chambers of Commerce’s latest quarterly economic survey, there were improvements in several areas during the final three months of 2009, suggesting that the economy is emerging from recession, but there was little evidence of robust and significant growth.

In the manufacturing sector, domestic orders, employment expectations, and investment in plant and machinery were still negative.

While in the services industry sector, domestic sales and orders, employment, cash flow, and investment in plant and machinery were also negative.

David Frost, director general of the BCC, said: “Although these results are not as impressive as hoped, they do contain some positive features – most notably strong improvements in employment and exports within the manufacturing sector.

“Businesses are showing resilience despite difficult and uncertain trading conditions. Confidence is improving, and the boost in exports must be nurtured in order to strengthen Britain’s trade position globally, and to help rebalance the economy away from an over-reliance on the public sector.

“It is vital that the government now demonstrates a determination to support wealth-creating companies in 2010. Additional business taxes must be avoided, and the 1 per cent increase to employers’ National Insurance Contributions planned for 2011 should be scrapped.

“Unless the private sector is given the freedom to create jobs and wealth, the UK’s economic recovery will be slower than it should be, and we will face the serious risk of a double-dip recession.”