The 2013/03/19 at 08:24
Stéphanie Salti, in London
In the opinion of the BCC, British enterprises aren’t to blame. Resilient and ambitious, companies nevertheless come against an unfavourable economic environment, marked by subdued global growth prospects and the tricky task of restoring British public finances. In this discouraging economic context, the BCC has therefore decided to lower Britain’s growth forecasts to 0.6 % this year (compared with 1 % in its last prognostics from December 2012), and to 1.7 % in 2014 (compared with 1.8 % previously).
“Our new forecast highlights the challenges facing the U.K. economy over the months and years ahead,” explains John Longworth, Director General of the BCC. “We have advocated reducing the deficit, but have for some considerable time said that this must be coupled with a plan for growth, together creating a new model economy that will allow businesses to create jobs, invest and export.” The negative growth registered by Great Britain in the last quarter of 2012 was the main trigger for BCC’s downward scaling of growth prospects. Paired with the persistence of concerns in Eurozone countries, the United Kingdom’s main trade partners, the revision of the figures also take into account the hardening of British public debt: the BCC is now expecting 89.7 billion pounds in debt for the 2012-2013 year, in other words 9.2 billion pounds more than the prognostics established by the Office for Budget Responsibility in December 2012.
The lean years should end in 2015, a year in which growth of +2.2% is forecast by the BCC. In the meantime, economic indicators continue to blow hot and cold: after progressing by 1 % in 2012, household consumption is expected to maintain the same growth rate this year before progressing by respectively 1.9 % and 2.2 % in 2014 and 2015. Investment is also expected to strengthen gradually, with anticipated growth of +5% in 2013, then +5.1 and +5.2% in 2014 and 2015. The much-awaited rebalancing of the British economy should also continue slowly: after a decline of 0.3 % in 2012, exports should grow modestly by 1.1% in 2013, then by +3.3% in 2014 and +4.1% in 2015.
Industry, representing no more than 10.5 % of British production, is also going to play the rollercoaster game: after declining by half a point this year, the sector should progress by 1 % in 2013, then by 1.2 % in 2015. The particularly volatile construction sector is also set to decline this year, before re-establishing growth in 2014 (+1%) and in 2015 (+1.1%). Meanwhile, the dynamism of the services sector should be reinforced next year (+2.1%) and in 2015 (+2.6%).