By Richard Cree, Economia
There is some welcome economic news this morning from the latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey, which shows the UK economy expanding slightly in the first three months of 2012.
The news would mean the UK has technically avoided a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth). This is in marked contrast to figures released last week by the OECD, which pointed to the UK contracting 0.4% at the start of 2012, following a 1.2% contraction for the last quarter of 2011.
And yet even the BCC’s upbeat statement, which echoes earlier predictions from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), suggests that any recovery remains extremely tenuous. With growth for the year predicted by most commentators at less than 1%, the potential disruption caused by striking tanker drivers, or a further slip-up in the eurozone could tip the balance back the other way.
Hence the BCC calling for more work to be done by the banks and other financial institutions to shore up lending to growing businesses and to help firms finance working capital.