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UK growth better than expected, but Autumn Statement must support business growth

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 0.5 per cent in quarter three, preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.

The rise, which was better than expected, was driven by strength in the services and production sectors, while growth in the construction sector was in decline.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has welcomed the increase, following the ‘particularly disappointing’ growth of just 0.1 per cent in quarter two. But the BCC claims that there are still risks ahead, and that the Government must use the Autumn Statement to boost business growth.

Commenting, David Kern, chief economist at the BCC said: “It is right for the government to persevere with reducing the deficit, and calls for a Plan B are unjustified. But there is a clear need to reallocate priorities within the current spending envelope to support business growth.

“The Government must make use of the considerable flexibility within its current fiscal plan. The Autumn Statement at the end of this month provides a real opportunity for the Chancellor to remove obstacles facing businesses, and take additional measures to improve the flow of credit to companies, particularly SMEs. The MPC must persevere with its current expansionary policies and reassess its reluctance to engage in credit easing policies.”