By Daniel Hunter
The second estimate of the GDP figures which grew by only 0.3 per cent over the last three months would be boosted by major infrastructure projects, such as HS2, say West Midland business leaders.
Steve Brittan, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce stressed that there needs to be more investment, more quickly in the region.
"HS2 will have the capacity to provide the stimulus needed for the wider economy, but the Government does need to invest more in short term projects," he said.
"HS2 will create 22,000 jobs in the West Midlands and will boost our regional economy by £1.5 billion per year, but it is a long term prospect. Birmingham Chamber's Quarterly Economic Survey for Q1 2013 showed that confidence among businesses has risen. It's important that this rising confidence is not stifled."
Mike Ashton, spokesman for the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, said: "Growth will come from the SME sector, and recent budget proposals, such as the £2,000 cut to employer NI contributions may begin to ease difficult business conditions. The economy is still in the process of rebalancing.
"Lack of growth is put into perspective when we compare the UK to emerging markets. Even when figures are revised down, China still has an annual growth rate of around 7.7 per cent."
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