Latest updates and stories from Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and its Members

BCC: Labour market remains robust, but earnings slowdown concerning

Commenting on the labour market figures for June 2018, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

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Global Headwinds and Uncertainty Slow UK Growth in 2016

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today downgraded its UK GDP growth forecast, from 2.5% to 2.2% in 2016, and from 2.5% to 2.3% in 2017; for 2018, included for the first time in the forecast, GDP growth of 2.4% is predicted.

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Weak trade and manufacturing figures nudge down UK growth forecast

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today downgraded its UK GDP growth forecast, from 2.6% to 2.4% in 2015, from 2.7% to 2.5% in 2016, and from 2.7% to 2.5% in 2017.

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Businesses and schools ‘still worlds apart’ on readiness for work

Two-thirds of businesses (69%) believe that secondary schools are not effective at preparing young people for work, according to a major new UK-wide survey of over 3,500 business and education leaders published today by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), just hours before the latest national employment figures are published.

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Strong service sector and consumer spending drive UK growth upgrade

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has upgraded its UK GDP growth forecast for the next three years, from 2.3% to 2.6% in 2015, 2.6% to 2.7% in 2016, and 2.6% to 2.7% in 2017. The principal driver for the leading business group’s forecast upgrade is stronger than previously expected growth in both the UK’s service sector and consumer spending.

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BCC downgrades 2015 growth forecast but predicts earnings are set to rise

The British Chambers of Commerce has downgraded its UK GDP growth forecast for 2015 from 2.7% to 2.3%, following weaker than expected growth at the start of the year. However, the BCC believes the slowdown is temporary and the prospects over the medium term remain steady, with GDP growth predicted to be 2.6% in 2016 and 2017.

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2014 growth to reach seven year high with slowdown to follow

  • BCC upgrades 2014 GDP growth forecast from 3.1% to 3.2% - the highest growth rate since 2007
  • Growth forecast for 2015 upgraded from 2.7% to 2.8%, but remains unchanged for 2016 at 2.5%
  • First increase in official interest rates to 0.75% expected in Q1 2015
  • GDP growth will continue at a strong pace of 0.8% in Q3 2014
  • Exports of goods and services downgraded: from 1.9% to 0.8% for 2014, from 4.2% to 4.1% for 2015
  • John Longworth: “We must ensure the stellar growth in 2014 is not a flash in the pan”
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Strong job figures point to economic growth

  • In the three months to September 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.6%
  • In the three months to September 2013, unemployment fell by 48,000 and employment increased by 177,000
  • Youth unemployment (16-24) fell 9,000 in the three months to September, but was still high at 965,000, and the jobless rate was 21%
  • The claimant count fell 41,700 between September and October 2013
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Efforts needed to create jobs

  • In the three months to June 2013, unemployment fell by 4,000, and employment rose by 69,000, compared with the previous quarter
  • Long term unemployment is up, with further increases in the number of those unemployed for more than one year and two years
  • Youth unemployment has risen by 15,000 in the three months to June, and now stands at 973,000
  • In July 2013 the claimant count fell by 29,200, compared with June
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