Commenting on the revised business investment figures for the fourth quarter of 2009, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Although marginally better than the original figures, these numbers still show alarming declines in business investment – with particularly large falls in the manufacturing sector.

“In the face of weak demand and severe financial pressures, businesses have had little choice but to cut investment and stocks. This situation cannot go on indefinitely without damaging consequences. Unless investment picks up, the UK economy will lack the capacity to meet rising demand when the recovery gathers momentum.

“In order to promote investment, companies need continued low interest rates. For smaller firms, the doubling of the Annual Investment Allowance in this week’s Budget will help, but a credible plan for the nation’s finances would give many more businesses the confidence to start investing again.”