British Chambers of Commerce predicts “short term stagnation” in the economy

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Last year, and the year before that, I recall thinking about the year ahead and being resonably sure that the year to come would be better economically than the one past. How wrong I was. At least this year I have learnt my lesson and fully expect 2012 to be grimmer than 2011.

And the British Chambers of Commerce in a very big survey of 7850 businesses seem to agree that there is still more trouble ahead.

There are lots of findings here that cause disquiet, but a few strike me as particularly worrying. Firstly, they predict economic stagnation in the first quarter of 2012 and whilst they don’t think a second recession is a “foregone conlusion” they do think it a strong possibility.

Secondly, they note that household budgets for spending are modest and faling. Bad news for retailers and sellers of all kinds.

You can find the full results on the BCC website here.

John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, said: “The results of our latest survey are a cause for concern and point towards stagnation in the first quarter of this year. Many of the balances are now at levels last seen in the third quarter of 2009, meaning improvements seen in the last two years have largely been cancelled out.

“A new recession is not a foregone conclusion. However, action is needed urgently to tackle short-term stagnation and a lack of business confidence, damaged by the ongoing eurozone crisis.

How are you feeling? I thought this song from Noel Coward somehow seemed apt.


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