Commenting on the preliminary GDP figures for the first quarter of 2010 published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:  

“Coming at the end of a week of mixed economic data, these figures are weaker than expected, but not entirely surprising.  Lower growth in the first quarter of this year compared with the last quarter of 2009 was anticipated by the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey, and is consistent with our forecast published in March.   

 “Although still weak, GDP has now recovered for two quarters in a row, so it is important for policy-makers to focus on ensuring that the recovery continues and a double-dip recession is avoided.   

“As soon as the election is out of the way, it is critical for a new government to put in place a credible deficit-reduction plan that allows business to lead a sustainable recovery.  Without a credible plan, there are serious risks that the fragile economic upturn will fizzle out.”