Slowdown in growth reflects feeling among Coventry & Warwickshire businesses

Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Economic growth in UK slowed slightly since the decision to leave the EU – and that bears out the sentiment among businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire.

GDP grew by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 – the first since the referendum on membership of the European Union – and that’s slightly down on the 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter.

Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the slight fall in growth reflected what companies in the region have been saying.

She said: “Businesses told us in our last Quarterly Economic Survey that they weren’t quite as confident as they were before the vote – but that confidence hasn’t dropped off a cliff, it’s just been dampened.

“Compared to many forecasts, growth of 0.5 per cent will be seen as something of a positive result but there are lots of factors to consider within that – including the fact that Brexit hasn’t actually happened yet so companies, in the main, are taking a business as usual approach.

“Once we know the full details of what leaving the EU looks like, we might get a clearer picture of what the economic effect will be.

“The decision does seem to have focussed the government’s mind on the need for an industrial strategy and the need to get the economy moving through improved infrastructure.

“We should get further evidence of this next month when the new Chancellor delivers his first Autumn Statement. Within this, we would like to see several ‘business-friendly’ measures that will help firms across Coventry and Warwickshire to Go for Growth by making it easier to invest and promotes opportunities to export.”