Future UK growth has to come from trade and investment to steer the country out of the “steepest recession since the Second World War,” CBI Director-General Richard Lambert told a Birmingham business audience.
Mr Lambert told the CBI summer banquet at Birmingham Botanical Gardens that the country could no longer rely on spending by the corporate sector and individual households which had been fuelled by debt. He told guests: “The future growth of the country has to come from trade and business investment. It has been a very, very difficult six months, the steepest recession our country has seen since the Second World War.
“The impact on manufacturing has been devastating and the effect on the West Midlands has been grim.”
Mr Lambert said the UK faced a “long, hard road back to normality” over credit as the economic downturn rumbles on.
“Confidence is very low amongst borrowers and lenders. Quite a lot of companies are refinancing earlier than they need to - that is a very expensive thing to do.”