By Claire West

The British Chambers of Commerce today (Tuesday) has published its latest economic forecast, which sees UK growth in 2012 revised upwards from -0.4% to -0.1%.

Although this is encouraging news for the UK economy, forecasts for the next two years have been downgraded from 1.2% to 1.0% in 2013, and from 2.2% to 1.8% in 2014.

Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“As we wait in anticipation for the Chancellor to deliver his Autumn Statement tomorrow, our new forecast highlights the challenges still facing the UK economy over the months and years ahead. We have always been behind the Chancellor’s aim of reducing the deficit, but this has to be supported with the right conditions that allow businesses to thrive, or we will fail to see the growth the economy so desperately needs.

“The fact remains that growth is still too weak. Thankfully, we have businesses here in the UK that are ambitious, determined and resilient. Many firms are expanding exports, investing, and creating jobs, but more must be done to support the aspirations of growing companies that will be the wealth creators of tomorrow.

“This is why we are calling for decisive action in the Autumn Statement. Business wants a hybrid strategy that delivers both deficit-reduction and growth. This requires a laser-like focus on the implementation of important growth measures, such as the delivery of key infrastructure projects across the UK and the creation of a business bank that heralds a radical and long-term change in the way that companies access finance.

“Politicians need to show courage, imagination and leadership. If they put Britain’s economic priorities above politics, they can make a real difference in transforming our economy so that Britain can lead the way on the global stage.”