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economy Cautious response to economic figures The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has sounded a note of caution following the publication of encouraging figures for the UK economy by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). According to the ONS figures, the UK’s GDP expanded 0.6% in Q3 after a 0.4% growth in Q2.

The value of wellbeing

However, analysts have suggested that, although Britain's economy picked up pace during the third quarter, growing at the fastest rate since late 2016, this may yet prove to be a high watermark ahead of Brexit. According to the ONS figures, Britain’s economy outpaced the euro zone by a large margin during the third quarter, helped by solid consumer spending during an unseasonably warm summer and the football World Cup. However, analysts say that the boost may yet prove to be ephemeral, driven by one-off factors rather than pointing to an underlying strength in the UK economy. As a result, the BCC has warned against reading too much into the figures and suggested instead that the months leading up to Brexit in March could prove extremely difficult for the UK economy because of uncertainty over what will happen. Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “While the pick-up in GDP growth in the third

As I look back on 2018 and the festive celebrations, I am always drawn to John Lennon’s opening lines to War is Over; So this is Christmas, And what have you done, Another year over, And a new one just begun. quarter is welcome, the stronger headline figure masks a loss of momentum through the quarter from the particularly strong July outturn, when a number of temporary factors, including the heatwave and the World Cup, boosted activity. “The services and construction sectors were the strongest performers in the quarter, reflecting a boost in activity from the exceptionally hot summer. “The fall in business investment is a concern as it stifles productivity and growth. However, measures such as the increase in the Annual Investment Allowance announced in the Budget should provide a lift to investment over the near term. “It remains likely that the stronger growth recorded in the third quarter is a

one-off for the UK economy, with persistent Brexit uncertainty and the financial squeeze on consumers and businesses likely to weigh increasingly on economic activity in the coming quarters. “Against this backdrop, the Bank of England’s recent hawkish rhetoric looks a little misguided and risks a further weakening in business and consumer confidence. “With inflation on a downward trajectory and the UK’s growth outlook subdued, there remains sufficient scope for the central bank to keep interest rates on hold for some time yet. “To ease the extent of current uncertainty, the Government must deliver a comprehensive Brexit deal that gives firms the clarity and precision they need.”

“The fall in business investment is a concern as it stifles productivity and growth. However, measures such as the increase in the Annual Investment Allowance announced in the Budget should provide a lift to investment over the near term.” The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Forbes Low

Exactly what have we achieved? Listening to friends, the pushes and pulls of health, relationships or finances have impacted many of us this year. We often think we are the only ones going through difficult days, but the truth is that we are seldom alone. Someone close to us may be enduring their own difficulties. I think one of the positives from 2018 is the growing awareness and attention to the value of wellbeing: for ourselves, our friends or work colleagues. This can only be a good thing. Our Borough has plenty to be proud of. Yet, often unseen or unrecognised, we have a network of talented and hard working businesses and charities who are trying to defy a difficult climate. It is far from easy but I see at Chamber events people pushing their abilities and raising their game to benefit all of us. The Kingston Chamber of Commerce strives to provide our members better opportunities to grow their businesses. One particular success story of 2018 was our first Chessington Business Expo. The enthusiasm of the stand holders and the visitors (followed by terrific social media feedback in the following weeks) exceeded our expectations. I would like to thank the support for ASCA, my chosen charity for the year. To date, we have raised over £1,200.00 which will be used to provide 6 service users, with a course of one-to-one counselling. The donation will help local people who cannot afford to pay for a specialist private counsellor. Thank you so much and next year we will strive to do more. So as another year ends, I do believe we have all achieved far more than we think we have. I wish you all the very best for the new year and may 2019 keep you safe and well, with many days of successes. Forbes Low forbes@forbesdesign.co.uk

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Borough Business January 2019  

Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...

Borough Business January 2019  

Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...

Profile for benham