The British Chambers of Commerce is today publishing its Fourth Quarter Economic Survey. Nearly 6,000 businesses, employing over 680,000 people, responded. Results in quarter four (Q4) highlight a frightening deterioration in the UK economic situation – they are the worst on record for both manufacturing and services since the survey was first published in 1989.
There are no positive features in the Q4 results. Domestic demand is plunging, exports are falling, and confidence is plummeting. All the critical national balances have worsened in Q4, for both manufacturing and services, and all are in negative territory.
It is clear that the UK economy is facing a very serious recession, and the downturn is deepening at an alarming pace. The collapse in all the Q4 confidence balances to record lows is particularly ominous.
Key findings include:
The economy is clearly facing exceptional threats. The marked fall in all Q4 export balances, and their move into negative territory, indicates that big falls in the value of sterling have not benefited UK exports, because of the adverse effects of the sharp global downturn