Welsh view on the GDP figures

Comment from Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, on the first estimate of GDP for Q3 2013

Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Again we have seen modest growth from Q2 to Q3 of 2013, which is another step in the right direction, and further evidence that recovery in the UK is gathering momentum.

“Our priority now must be to stimulate economic growth here in Wales. We have spent the year listening to businesses across south and mid Wales, and in our manifesto, launched this month, we outlined the key issues we believe must be addressed to make a real difference to the economic future of businesses up and down the country.

“This includes improving the physical and virtual infrastructure of Wales, increasing the available support to businesses of all sizes, and addressing the lack of a skilled workforce we are seeing across certain sectors.

“Rising energy prices remain a worry for businesses, especially with the major price rises announced recently by the UK’s leading energy providers. We need to see greater support for businesses in this regard, in particular investment in renewable energy sources such as micro solar, wind and heat generation that will help ease this financial burden.

“The rising GDP figures reflects our own business surveys which have shown a growing confidence within the businesses community over the last year. We need to build on this by pushing forward with key projects, such as the M4 relief road, which mustn’t be allowed to stagnate. We need to find every way possible to provide the mechanism that allows construction to start and if the devolution of Stamp Duty Land Tax is the catalyst to progress, there needs to be a groundswell of support from the private sector to get appropriate support from Westminster.”