GDP growth must now be sustained

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Prospects of further growth in the UK are far from secure, according to Sheffield Chamber of Commerce executive director Richard Wright.

Mr Wright was speaking in the wake of news that Britain’s Gross Domestic Product had risen by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, making two successive quarters of growth.

“It is positive news and we should enjoy it…however, we need to be under no illusions that this growth is far from secure,” said Mr Wright.

“The current growth rate is still not enough. We need to be showing two to three percent to really deliver significant wealth and job creation for the city region.

“We need broad growth across all sectors - services, manufacturing, agriculture and construction - and while these figures show some improvement, construction, in particular, is coming from a very low base.”

Andrew Palmer, director of the Confederation of British Industry in Yorkshire and the Humber, also called for a balanced recovery, based on investment and trade.

“Underlying conditions are quite weak as consumers are still saddled with debt and, despite the global economy picking up, the potential for getting knocked off course remains,” he warned.

Andy Tüscher, regional director of the manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, said the improvement in GDP should signal the start of a gradual improvement in output and orders for manufacturers.

“Better news on Eurozone activity this week gives further cause for a bit of optimism for manufacturers and exporters but, importantly, we need to see output growth followed by a turnaround in business investment,” said Mr Tüscher, who now wants policy makers to ensure growth is sustained.