Rachel’s Blog: A new economic forecast, upcoming general election and your chance to get your voice heard

A promising start to the year has prompted the British Chambers of Commerce to revise their economic projections in the Q2 Economic Forecast.

Businesses will be pleased to see that growth expectations for 2024 and 2025 have been increased to 0.8% and 1% respectively.

This comes as the economy continues its recovery following a short period of recession at the end of last year.

It’s thought that growth in the long-term is unlikely to be strong, however. The overall profile remains flat, with a headwind of a poor export outlook and high interest rates limiting investment across the board.

As this recovery remains largely fragile, and any additional changes, that be big or small, could significantly disrupt it.

Key Points from the report include:

GDP Growth: Upgraded to 0.8% for 2024 and 1.0% for 2025; steady at 1.0% for 2026.

Interest Rates: Expected to decrease gradually from 4.75% in Q4 2024 to 3.95% in Q4 2026.

Inflation: Slightly above the Bank of England’s 2% target, peaking at 2.3% in Q4 2024.

Trade: Imports and exports to contract in 2024 before modest growth in 2025 and 2026.

Business Investment: Predicted to rise steadily over the next three years.

Average Earnings: Expected to grow faster than inflation through 2026.

Unemployment: Expected to rise to 4.5% in 2024 and 4.6% in 2025, then drop to 4.4% in 2026.

During the crunch weeks of the general election campaign, businesses will be scrutinising politicians for sustainable and long-term economic plans.

You may have seen that we’re bringing eminent economist Vicky Pryce to Staffordshire just one week before the general election to offer an economic insight to local businesses.

Our first Big Business Breakfast event was a sell-out, and we had some incredible feedback from local businesses. We expect this event to be no different, especially with it being hosted at such an apt time. Book your tickets and unlock invaluable insights and networking opportunities for your business, here.

We’re also approaching the home stretch for our latest Quarterly Economic Survey. We’ve had a fantastic response and I would like to thank businesses who have taken the time to complete the survey.

If you’ve not yet completed the survey then please spare just five minutes to make your voice heard by local and national decision makers. Complete the survey, here.