Commenting on the preliminary GDP figures for the third quarter of 2009, published today by the ONS, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"These figures make sobering reading, both for the Government and for British businesses. Continued intervention - including help for businesses to access finance, and incentives to promote investment - is still needed. Above all else, business confidence must be nurtured, to ensure that recovery is not further delayed.

"Today's announcement reinforces the findings of our Quarterly Economic Survey - which showed that business conditions across Britain had improved, but were still not strong enough to confirm a return to growth. Talk of an end to the recession was clearly premature."

David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce added, “The deeply disappointing news that the recession did not end in Q3 is a blow to confidence. All the sectors in the economy recorded declines in Q3, and the private sector recorded bigger declines than the public sector.

"The risks facing the economy are serious and forceful corrective action is still needed. The figures strongly support our assessment that the MPC must increase the stimulus provided by Quantitative Easing, and must take action to boost bank lending.

"But measures aimed at stimulating demand, while necessary, are not sufficient. The Government must act more forcefully to remove the obstacles hampering the productive capacity of the economy. Business must be able to respond when demand eventually recovers."