Chamber chief's upbeat despite triple-dip recession fears

Friday 25 January 2013 Updated: 28/01 10:10

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Chamber of Commerce chief executive Louise Bennett (s)

MORE new business start ups, more exporting and more funding to help firms take on new staff are key to economic recovery, said Warwickshire's business chief.

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Louise Bennett was speaking on Friday morning amid fears of a triple-dip recession after figures showed the economy shrunk in the final three months of 2012.

Despite the fresh gloom surrounding the economy Ms Bennett said she did not believe firms took too much notice anymore of talk of recession which has dogged this country since 2008.

"The statistics show that we are still some way off a sustained recovery following the worst economic crisis many can remember.

"And, of course, the economic contraction in the final quarter of 2012 means we could face the prospect of a triple-dip recession.

"I do believe talk of a recession really put the fear into businesses four or five years ago but we have been living with these words for several years now and, in many cases, companies take the attitude they have to control their own destiny rather than be bogged down by the wider issues."

Figures out on Friday morning showed the economy shrunk by 0.3 per cent between October and December after an increase 0.9 per cent between July and September as a result of the Olympics.

It comes amid job losses as a result of the closure of high street stores JJB and Comet before Christmas and Jessops earlier this month and the uncertainty of HMV. It was announced last week that around 400 jobs are to go from Rolls Royce's Ansty factory.

Ms Bennett said it put the onus on the Chancellor to continue to cut the national deficit, but also put measures into place that help growth.

"The economy needs to be rebalanced. We need to see more people starting businesses, we need to see more companies exporting and we need to see firms given the freedom and the tools to expand and take on new staff," she said.

"We also need to see initiatives such as the business bank brought forward and established because accessing finance is still an issue.

"From the perspective of businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire, I would urge them to look at new markets both at home and abroad."

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