Belfast Telegraph

Chambers not optimistic over UK's economy

By Staff Reporter

The UK economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in 2009, according to a major business group. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) predicts gross domestic product (GDP) will increase 1.3% in 2018, a downgrade from its previous forecast of 1.4%.

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It said growth would slow due to a lacklustre outlook for consumer spending, business investment and trade, according to a leading business group.

The BCC also trimmed its 2019 GDP outlook from 1.5% to 1.4%.

The group predicts investment growth will slump in 2018 to 0.9%, from 2.4% last year, stifled by the high upfront cost of doing business in the UK and continued uncertainty around Brexit.

Productivity will remain weak, pay rises limited and household finances stretched, with the savings rate at a historic low and debt levels high. As a result, consumer spending will not be "materially stronger" by the end of next year, the BCC said.

Belfast Telegraph