Reacting to the ONS GDP figures for November, David Bharier, Head of Research at the BCC, said:
“Today’s GDP figures for November provide further evidence that UK economic growth is heading in the wrong direction, despite this period normally being among the busiest for the retail sector.
“While month-on-month GDP grew by 0.1%, this is a volatile measure. The three-month average, standing at –0.3%, sends a clearer signal of the current trajectory of the economy.
“Unprecedented energy costs, new trade barriers with the EU, and lasting damage caused by Covid lockdowns have created the hardest trading conditions for small businesses in recent history.
“Our latest Quarterly Economic Forecast expects five consecutive quarters of recession lasting until the end of 2023, and our most recent business survey points to significant falls in longer-term business confidence.
“To get back to growth in the long-term, firms will need to see the removal of trade barriers, particularly with the EU, investment in public infrastructure, and measures to improve their access to appropriately skilled staff.”