UK economic growth 'softened' in first quarter of 2016, suggests BCC

UK economic growth 'softened' in first quarter of 2016, suggests BCC

A survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed that the UK’s economic growth continued to soften during the first quarter of 2016.

The BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey, which is based on over 8,500 firm responses, suggested that key indicators for the services sector fell during the first quarter.

The survey also revealed that domestic sales and orders in services firms fell.

Additionally, profitability and turnover confidence for services and manufacturing has remained at a historical low.

However, during the first quarter, a slight increase in companies reporting improved sales and orders for export purposes provided the manufacturing industry with a small boost. Domestic sales, on the other hand, stayed low.

Meanwhile, industrial output fell by 0.5% during February, compared to a year earlier, fuelling some experts’ economic concerns that the UK’s economy has slowed during the first quarter.

Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the BCC, said: ‘Our latest survey results suggest that the UK economy is in a holding pattern. While the picture is static overall, there are clear indications that economic growth is continuing to soften.

‘From sales and orders to confidence and investment intentions, many of the business indicators we track are at a low ebb.’