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UK Economy Stuck In Rut, Says BCC

The UK economy is stuck in a rut due to Brexit uncertainties, according to the quarterly economic survey from British Chambers of Commerce.

In the report released Tuesday, the BCC said there is little to be cheerful about as growth flatlines and business confidence weakens in the third quarter.

The balance of manufacturing firms reporting a fall in domestic sales rose to +24, while that of services firms fell to +23. Domestic orders for manufacturing declined, while services reported improved domestic orders.

In services, the export sales balance fell marginally to 14 and export orders held steady at 12 in the third quarter.

On the other hand, in manufacturing, the balance for export sales and exports orders declined to 19 and 14, respectively. Both indicators were at their lowest since late 2016.

The percentage of services firms looking to recruit fell sharply to 47 percent, the lowest since the first quarter of 1993, from 60 percent. At the same time, the percentage of manufacturing firms attempting to recruit fell to 67 percent from 77 percent.

The lobby warned that the slowdown in exports in the manufacturing sector, and many services firms seemingly giving up trying to hire new staff, should be cause for concern.

"There has never been a more important time for the government to bolster business investment, competitiveness and productivity, in the face of significant Brexit headwinds," Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC said.

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