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BCC: UK recovery gains momentum but beware of ‘false dawns’

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The British Chambers of Commerce has lifted its growth forecast for the UK economy but warned that the country’s recovery should not be viewed as “secure”.

In its latest forecast, the business group predicts that UK GDP will expand by 1.3 per cent across the course of 2013, up from its previous estimate of 0.9 per cent.

Furthermore, the 2014 forecast has been lifted from 1.9 per cent to 2.2 per cent, while 2015’s outlook has been upgraded from 2.4 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

The group made the upward revision on the back of better-than-expected GDP growth in the second quarter, a stronger service sector and a rise in household consumption.

BCC director general John Longworth says: “The improved outlook is testament to the steadfast determination shown by businesses in previous quarters, who have consistently displayed confidence in the face of unwarranted pessimism over the economy.

“Unfortunately however the recovery is not yet secure. We have had false dawns in recent years and although this upturn appears to be on stronger ground, we must be aware that complacency could lead to setbacks.”

Longworth warns that external factors, such as a return of the eurozone crisis, China’s economic slowdown and tension in the Middle East, could still restrain the UK’s growth.

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