Region's business leaders say recession should not 'weigh down' companies - but is 'red alert' for Government - The Leamington Observer

Region's business leaders say recession should not 'weigh down' companies - but is 'red alert' for Government

Leamington Editorial 17th Feb, 2024   0

RECESSION should not weigh down business in Coventry and Warwickshire – so says the region’s Chamber of Commerce.

New figures show the UK entered recession when the economy contracted by 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2023, on the back of a 0.1 per cent fall in the previous quarter.

Sean Rose, Head of Policy at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the technical recession should not change businesses’ outlook – but it should act as a red alert to Government to help deliver long term economic growth.

He said: “Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire should not be weighed down by the term as it makes no difference to the way they do business on a day-to-day basis. It just confirms what they already know – that things are tough.




“Just as a marginal rise would not be a cause for celebration, this shouldn’t change businesses’ plans or their outlook as they move forward.

“We’ve seen inflation fall back sharply from its peak and the labour market has remained robust – although not without challenge – as we have seen from other figures released this week.


“We would always urge businesses to reach out to us for support with plans to grow and this news doesn’t change that.

“However, we’d urge the Chancellor and the Government to use the forthcoming budget to set out a long-term economic plan to help drive growth, to accelerate planning and employment land projects and to encourage sustainable investment.”

Steve Harcourt, Director of Prime Accountants Group and President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the recession was no surprise given the difficulties companies had been facing such as rising costs and higher interest rates.

He added: “With inflation coming down, the forecasts suggest that the economy will begin to grow again very quickly – but only very slightly – which is why we need a long-term plan for sustained growth.”

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Insight at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Chancellor must use his Budget in just under three weeks’ time to set out a clear pathway for firms and the economy to grow.

“Businesses are crying out for a long-term economic plan that reduces the cost pressures they are facing and unlocks the investment they so sorely need.”

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