Forecasts of Growth Were 'Optimistic'

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH GREEN

FOLLOWING last Wednesday's budget announcements, CBI North East's Regional Council met up to discuss the state of the economy and the CBI's latest growth forecast that indicated that while the worst of the recession may be past, there would be no recovery until spring 2010.

The general conclusion from the council was that the Chancellor's growth forecasts of recovery at the end of this year were optimistic.

The council is chaired by Robin Bloom, senior partner at Dickinson Dees, and was attended by 35 of the region's key business leaders, representing all sectors of the business community, including Greggs, Nissan and Northern Rock.

Robin Bloom kicked off discussions with the observation "Are we coming out of the deep freeze?" The general response to this was that business planning is very difficult and it's hard to forecast due to conditions being volatile. There are signs that trends are now going in the right direction but with reduced levels of activity.

Some hoped that the capital allowances reported in Wednesday's budget would help business investment, but many businesses stated that they were not planning investment in the short term as planning was almost impossible. …