Latest news from the British Chambers of Commerce

BCC Quarterly Economic Survey: recruitment difficulties and tougher trading conditions face firms amid sluggish UK growth

9 July 2018 - 1:45am
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) publishes the results of its Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2018.

Q2 2018 Quarterly Economic Survey

9 July 2018 - 1:00am
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) today (9 July 2018) publishes its Quarterly Economic Survey – the UK’s largest and most authoritative private-sector business survey, and a lead indicator for UK GDP growth. Based on the responses of over 6,000 businesses, the survey suggests that UK economic conditions remain sluggish, despite a modest improvement in activity in the second quarter of 2018. In the dominant service sector, consumer-facing industries, such as hospitality and retail, continue to report tougher trading conditions. Cashflow and investment intentions are falling significantly for retailers in particular as consumer spending, a key driver of UK growth, continues to remain subdued. In the manufacturing sector, the balance of firms reporting improved domestic sales rose in the quarter, and the balance of firms reporting improved orders increased to the highest level since Q1 2015. However, the size of the sector means that its contribution to UK growth remains limited. The balance of manufacturers reporting improved export sales and orders eased in the second quarter, suggesting that slowing global economic growth is forcing firms to look domestically for sales. A number of the key forward looking indicators, if sustained, point to a subdued outlook. The number of businesses reporting that they are intending to invest fell in the quarter, and business confidence for both sectors also fell. The biggest concern for businesses, however, continues to be the difficulties they face when trying to access skills, with the percentage of firms reporting problems rising again. All this shows the economy is in a holding pattern, with annual economic growth this year set to be the lowest since the financial crisis. Much more needs to be done to put the UK economy on a surer footing. The BCC calls for a push to fix the fundamentals for business – fixing the crisis-hit training system, improving connectivity, delivering infrastructure improvements, and incentivizing investment – to create a “Brexit hedge” for the economy. At the same time, the government urgently needs to provide clarity on the real-world questions that businesses are asking on the UK’s status after leaving the European Union, to give firms a clear path that would enable them to invest and grow.

BCC response to Chequers summit conclusions

6 July 2018 - 8:30pm
Director General Adam Marshall responds to the statement issued at the end of the Brexit discussions at Chequers.

BCC: Credit ‘apathy’ restricting potential growth opportunities for SMEs

4 July 2018 - 1:15am
Over half of UK businesses have not attempted to apply for finance over the past year amid limited investment intentions and weakening cash flow, according to new research released today (Wednesday) by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with specialist finance provider, Wesleyan Bank.

Brexit: 24 practical questions that businesses need answers to

3 July 2018 - 5:15am
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published the two-dozen top real-world questions being asked on Brexit by businesses across the UK, where clarity is urgently needed so that firms can plan their trade following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Brexit: time running out for answers to firms’ real-world questions, says BCC

3 July 2018 - 3:45am
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today published the two-dozen top real-world questions being asked on Brexit by businesses across the UK – and says the government has managed to make limited progress on just 2 of the 23 issues where clarity is urgently needed so that firms can plan their trade following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Banking on your local Post Office

29 June 2018 - 2:57pm
As the country’s largest small business retail network with 11,500 branches across the UK and as a driver of local economic activity, Post Office is uniquely positioned as a true local partner to small business.

BCC: new momentum needed from both sides for Brexit breakthrough

28 June 2018 - 4:38pm
Commenting ahead of the European Council meeting, where Prime Minister Theresa May is due to address other EU leaders tonight (Thursday), Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

BCC: Firms in the dark on customs declarations

28 June 2018 - 9:15am
Commenting on the publication of the NAO report on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), Anastassia Beliakova, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

BCC: Heathrow decision demonstrates UK still open for business

26 June 2018 - 9:43am
Commenting on the vote to approve expansion at Heathrow Airport, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

BCC: delay roll-out of Making Tax Digital

26 June 2018 - 1:15am
Ten months ahead of its planned introduction, an alarmingly high proportion of UK businesses have little or no awareness of HM Revenue and Customs’ flagship Making Tax Digital project, according to new research released today (Tuesday) by the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with Avalara.

Guidance on EU nationals a positive step, says BCC

21 June 2018 - 4:30am
The BCC comments on the draft proposals for the Settled Status Scheme for EU nationals, published by the Home Office.

BCC Economic Forecast: UK set for weakest year of GDP growth since 2009

18 June 2018 - 1:15am
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today (Monday) slightly downgraded its growth expectations for the UK economy, forecasting GDP growth for 2018 at 1.3% (from 1.4%) which, if realised, will be the weakest calendar year growth since 2009, when the economy was in the throes of the global financial crisis. The BCC has also downgraded its GDP growth forecast for 2019 from 1.5% to 1.4%.

Immigration relaxation for doctors a welcome first step, says BCC

14 June 2018 - 2:50pm
Commenting on reports that the Home Office is to exclude non-EU doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 visa cap, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

BCC comments on Apprenticeship starts

14 June 2018 - 10:37am
Commenting on the apprenticeship and levy statistics for June 2018, issued today by the Department for Education, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

Apprenticeship Levy reform 10-point plan

14 June 2018 - 3:30am
The British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), have published a 10-point-plan aimed at government and business, to reform the Apprenticeship Levy system.

BCC comments on inflation figures for May 2018

13 June 2018 - 9:59am
Commenting on the inflation statistics for May 2018, published today by the Office for National Statistics, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

BCC: Labour market remains robust, but earnings slowdown concerning

12 June 2018 - 10:10am
Commenting on the labour market figures for June 2018, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

BCC comments on trade statistics for April 2018

11 June 2018 - 3:30am
Head of Economics Suren Thiru comments on the latest ONS trade statistics for April 2018.

BCC: No more delays, no more excuses on Heathrow expansion

5 June 2018 - 12:58pm
Commenting on the publication of the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: