BCC downgrades UK growth forecasts as result of Brexit uncertainty
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has downgraded its growth forecasts for the UK economy as a result of ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The BCC downgraded its forecast for GDP growth from 1.3% to 1.1% for 2018, and its growth forecast for 2019 from 1.4% to 1.3%. For 2020, however, the BCC’s growth forecast remains unchanged at 1.6%.
By this time, the economy will have experienced its ‘second weakest decade’ of average annual GDP growth, the BCC predicted.
Commenting on the growth forecasts, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on many firms, as most of the practical questions facing trading businesses remain unanswered.
‘The lack of precision on the nature of the UK’s future relationship with the EU is lowering expectations for both business investment and export growth.’
Michael Izza, Chief Executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), agrees. He stated: ‘Brexit has been restricting business growth since the referendum in 2016, and with the potential of a no-deal exit, businesses don’t expect any comforting news in the immediate future. It is likely that these unpredictable factors will result in business investment growth remaining modest for the foreseeable future.’
However, he remains hopeful. He continued: ‘It’s not all bad news. Once negotiations come to a climax, whether it is a deal or no-deal Brexit, businesses will have more clarity on what to expect for the future.’