|UK GROWTH FORECAST CUT BY BCC AFTER BREXIT|
Aruba, September 13, 2016 - The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has slashed its growth forecast for the UK in the light of the Brexit vote.
It now expects the UK to grow 1.8% this year, down from its March estimate of 2.2%, and by 1% in 2017 compared with its original forecast of 2.3%.
Uncertainty surrounding the UK's negotiations over its EU exit would "dampen growth prospects", it said, while consumer spending would weaken.
It said the UK "would skirt with", but avoid, a recession.
However, a separate report on business conditions from accountancy and services group BDO said optimism was improving, after falling to a three-year low last month.
The forecast from the BCC is the first it has made since the EU referendum, and it warned that, while it did not expect a recession, companies were still digesting the results of June's EU referendum.
In total, the business group said its downgrades implied the UK economy would be £43.8bn smaller by the end of 2018 then it had expected before the EU vote.
But it said the slide in sterling since the vote should improve the UK's net trade position.
"Although individual businesses continue to report strong trading conditions, the overall picture suggests a sharp slowdown in UK growth lies ahead," said BCC acting director general, Dr Adam Marshall.
He urged the government to set out "a clear timetable" for negotiations with the EU, and said it should push on with infrastructure projects such as a new airport runway and new nuclear investment to help encourage business spending.
Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37334933