BCC: POSITIVE GDP FIGURES BUT WORSENING CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT IS UNSUSTAINABLE
September 30 2014.



- GDP quarterly growth in Q2 2014 was revised up from 0.8% to 0.9%, but year on year growth in Q2 remains unrevised at 3.2%

- The level of GDP in Q2 2014 is now estimated to be 2.7% above its pre-recession level in 2008, this is considerably higher than previously estimated because of upward revisions to published figures for earlier years

- Business investment rose by 3.3% in Q2 2014

- Exports fell by 0.4% in Q2 2014, while imports fell by 0.3%

- The current account deficit widened from 4.7% of GDP in Q1 2014 to 5.2% in Q2 2014


Commenting on the revised estimate of UK GDP, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Overall these figures are positive – they show an upward revision in quarterly growth in Q2 and growth in business investment. The current level of GDP is considerably higher than its pre-recession level, which mirrors our view that earlier official estimates have understated growth in recent years. However, there are concerning features in the latest figures - the volume of exports has fallen slightly and the current account deficit has widened to above 5% of GDP, a level which in the long- term will prove to be unsustainable.

“While the strength of the recovery will support business confidence, these figures reinforce the need to rebalance the economy towards exports and investment. It is important that the MPC and the government make every effort to sustain the recovery. Interest rates must be kept low until there is a clear need to start increasing them, and government must do more to support exporters and improve access to finance for growing businesses.”