Business leaders in Greater Birmingham today called for additional measures from the government to support the growth of the economic recovery. This followed the announcement that GDP grew by 0.5 per cent in Q3 2015, compared with growth of 0.7 per cent in Q2. Services output increased by 0.7 per cent on the quarter, production grew by 0.3 per cent, but construction output plunged by 2.2 per cent

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “As expected, GDP growth was slightly lower in Q3 than Q2. However it remains above the 0.3 per cent growth recorded in Q1.  The main reason for the slowdown was the sharp fall in construction. However, the UK’s strong services sector continues to keep the economic recovery on track.

“Our local research echoes this national trend.  The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 indicates that UK sales have improved this quarter for service sector firms, and even more so for our manufacturers. 

“Nevertheless business growth was affected by weaker global conditions, as export sales fell noticeably in both sectors, with 44 per cent reporting a decrease in export sales in Q3, compared to 19 per cent in Q2.  As a result business confidence is slightly lower, with 62 per cent of firms expecting turnover to improve in the next 12 months in Q3, compared to 65 per cent in Q2.

“Overall, it is good news that real GDP is now 6.4 per cent higher than the pre-recession peak in early 2008. What we need now is further measures to boost growth to support the recovery, with particular emphasis on exports and infrastructure investments. Fixing the fundamentals will place the economy on a surer footing.”