Growth slows but confidence remains, says Chamber

February 6, 2015 1:45 pm

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The UK’s economy grew at its fastest rate for seven years in 2014, but the pace of growth slowed in the final three months of the year according to new figures.

The first preliminary estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) output, for Q4 2014, found that the economy expanded at a weaker-than-expected 0.5 per cent between October and December, which was 0.2 per cent down on the previous quarter.

However, figures for the year showed that the economy grew by 2.6 per cent in 2014, its best performance since 2007.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, said: “The economy has expanded at a steady pace since the beginning of 2013, with much of that growth secured during 2014.

“However, today’s figures confirm what businesses have been telling the Chamber recently, that the pace of growth slowed down towards the end of the year.

“The slowdown was significantly sharper than expected, but it’s too early to definitively say that this is the start of a longer-term trend.

“The Chamber’s own survey for the quarter found that confidence among local firms remains high, with a significant majority still feeling their profits and turnover will increase in the year ahead.

“There are, however, a number of global headwinds starting to appear – the slowdown in China and the current situation in Greece, with its implications for the wider eurozone area, for example – which may not have an impact here in the UK today, but could create uncertainty in the longer term. Until exports pick up, UK growth will continue to look unbalanced.”

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