Growth weak but could nurture confidence says Chamber

The economic output in the first quarter of 2013 should nurture the growing confidence among businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire.

That is the view of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on the back of the report from the Office for National Statistics that said the economy grew between January and March by 0.3 per cent.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber off Commerce, said that while the figures were not a cause for celebration as growth remained weak, they should help confidence.

She said: “It is way too early to begin talking about long-term growth because these are just figures for one quarter. We need to see several quarters of stronger growth before we can begin to see signs of sustained recovery.

“While it is only a small rise of 0.3 per cent, these figures should do is give our businesses the confidence that they can grow over the coming year because it is not against a back drop of doom and gloom and talk of a triple dip recession.

“We have already seen that confidence starting to come through from our firms because our latest quarterly economic survey – a good barometer for the economy – suggested many firms were planning to grow in the next year and were forecasting a rise in turnover.

“Confidence is, of course, not the only factor but it does have a large bearing on the economy because firms will only invest in staff, training and equipment if they feel it will pay off.

“Having said that, we cannot pretend the underlying issues within the economy are not there and we still need to see more individuals starting businesses, more firms trading globally and an even stronger focus on manufacturing.

“They are three issues we are working on here in Coventry and Warwickshire because we recognise their importance to stronger, more sustainable growth.”