CHANCELLOR MUST USE BUDGET TO STRENGTHEN GROWTH
February 26 2014.



- GDP grew by 0.7% in Q4 2013 – unrevised from the provisional estimate

- GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.8% in 2013, compared with 2012, revised down 0.1 percentage points from the provisional estimate

- In Q4 2013 investment grew by 2.4%, while net trade made a positive contribution to GDP growth


Commenting on the revised GDP figures for Q4 2013 published today by the ONS, David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “While the unrevised 0.7% growth for Q4 was expected, the additional detail is mixed. Downward revisions to earlier figures have led to a lower estimate of 2013 growth. However, the positive news is that investment is rising and net trade is making a positive contribution to GDP – with imports down on the quarter and exports up slightly.

“Overall, these figures will underpin business confidence. However, it is now important to improve the quality of Britain’s recovery. While it is encouraging that consumer spending is growing, we need to rely more on investment and net exports. These figures show a small move in the right direction, but there is still more to do.

“The UK labour market is flexible and is creating jobs, with unemployment falling faster than expected. But youth unemployment is still too high despite recent improvements, and efforts are needed in next month’s Budget to ensure that a generation of young people are able to find work. To secure a lasting recovery, further measures are also needed to help our exporters break into emerging markets and to improve access to finance for growing businesses.”