london-2

What will happen to the UK economy when we finally up sticks and leave the European Union? It's a question bouncing off the tongues of the public and the experts since the referendum was evening considered.

The answer is no one knows for sure. But the growing consensus is that it's going to stall. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the latest organisation to give its outlook for the economy post-referendum, expects it to "skirt with", but avoid, a recession.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, was one of the first major figures to claim that a Leave vote could spark a recession. But the BCC says Brexit will merely "dampen growth prospects"... to a near recession.

In March, the Chambers said the UK economy would grow by 2.2% this year. But that was before people decided the EU wasn't doing it for them any longer. Now, we can expect growth of 1.8% in 2016. The big fall comes next year, however. Having forecast growth of 2.3%, the BCC believes we'll see growth of just 1% in 2017.

In fact, it thinks the country's economy will be nearly £50 billion worse off by the end of 2018 than if we'd stayed in the European Union.

The BCC also reminded everyone of that sliver of silver in the gloomy clouds gathering above the economy - trade. As we know, the value of the pound dropped significantly after in the referendum. That, if you didn't already know, makes it cheaper for foreign companies to buy British goods and services. And you're more likely to buy more of something if it's cheaper, aren't you? Of course you are!

So higher trade, coupled with a rebounding services sector in August is likely to stave off recession for the remainder of this year, at least.

'Business as usual'

Meanwhile, there's more positive outlook being painted by another organisation, the accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO. Its optimism index score has risen from 97.9 to 98.7 - a figure of 95 suggests that UK might be in danger of recession.

BDO's Peter Heamington said: "After the immediate Brexit scare, businesses are becoming more confident as they start to find that, for most of us, it's back to business as usual.

But ongoing uncertainty and the likely longer-term damage if we exit the single market, are concerns which continue to justify government support for growth.

"The government must prioritise taking advantage of cheap borrowing costs to invest in infrastructure and protect the growth of our economy as we move closer to exit negotiations."