Sun through clouds

The UK GDP is set to exceed it’s pre-recession peak level this summer, a business lobby group has predicted.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) believes the second quarter of 2014, starting in April, will see GDP exceed the level seen at the beginning of 2008.

It estimates economic growth will be at 2.8% this year – up from its earlier estimate of 2.7%.

The services and manufacturing industries have been the main drivers of growth, according to official data, but the BCC warned of potential long-term challenges.

The group also warned that youth unemployment will remain “unacceptably low”. The youth unemployment rate is predicted to remain almost three times the national average until 2016. The BCC urge the government ahead of this month’s Budget to use the funds wisely by ‘incentivising businesses to hire young people so that the next generation of workers are not left behind.’

John Longworth, BCC director general said:

“Our economic recovery is gaining momentum. Businesses across the UK are expanding and creating jobs, and our increasingly sunny predictions for growth are a testament to their drive and ambition.”

The BCC’s report was bolstered by further statistics that show UK businesses are at their most confident since before the global crisis. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said a growing number of SMEs are getting access to finance and are gaining confidence in continued growth throughout the year.

Photo by  Kevin Dooley