FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commenting on the Office for National Statistics’ release of the Second Estimate of GDP for Q2 2017 today, Christian Spence, Head of Research and Policy at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Today’s data is unchanged from the first estimate, confirming that the UK economy has slowed down over the past few months, and that growth remains dependent on the services sector. Business investment for Q2 is flat compared to the first quarter of the year and early estimates suggest that the services sector itself, along with household spending, is slowing in the more recent data.
“For now, growth remains in line with our current forecasts for 1.6% for 2017 which we expect to slow to 1.5% in 2018. Whilst we believe that more locally, the Greater Manchester economy remains well placed to outpace national growth at around 3.25% this year, there remain material downside risks to the UK economy overall. Household spending is likely to be further constrained over the coming year because of higher inflation and real-terms pay reductions, and softer business investment levels will likely lead to softer growth in the future, though may support higher employment in the short-term.
“The government’s position on Brexit has become more pragmatic over recent weeks and we welcome this shifting of position, particularly with respect to court jurisdiction. However, there is still significant progress to be made before business will feel comfortable about the UK’s future path and relationship within this process, and government must accelerate its own position of providing clarity on its negotiating aims; its current position papers provide for too little certainty on its own desires.”
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, providing business support to approximately 4,500 members who collectively employ 446,000 people, around one-third of Greater Manchester’s workforce.
Recognised as a leader in its field, Greater Manchester Chamber’s reputation in government circles has grown locally and nationally. At the heart of the area of greatest economic intensity outside London and the South East, the Chamber is the primary body for business support, policy, representation and networking.
The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit private company and its aim is to support businesses and help create the best climate for the region to prosper. This is achieved by ensuring that those taking decisions on key issues such as transport, taxation and business regulation hear the voice of our members. The representation of our members’ views is central to the work of the policy team at the Chamber; these views are gathered in a range of ways including our local councils, policy committees, sector councils, the main Chamber council, focus groups, meetings with politicians and consultations.
The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow.
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