Choppy warning on recovery

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has fired a warning shot over the fragile state of the economic recovery saying it will remain “choppy”.

In a new survey it said that business this year is likely to have been negatively affected by the weather-related disruptions in December and it warned that the overall picture was still worrying.

While balances for the manufacturing sector remained positive and exports were still strong, there had been a worsening across all the key balances, pointing to a difficult economic environment in recent months, said the report.

The service sector showed mixed results, with improvements “slight and still inadequate”.

David Frost, director general of the BCC, said: “The results of the Quarterly Economic Survey show our economy faces a difficult year and that the recovery will be choppy.

“Exporting activity remains strong, but there have been sharp declines in confidence, and cash flow is still a real concern for businesses.

“While the government has listened to calls to help the private sector create growth, there is more to be done in giving businesses greater confidence, and encouraging them to export, invest and create more jobs.

“As the public sector cuts start to bite, the government must get the detail right on the measures announced in the Budget to generate economic growth by helping businesses thrive.”