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British Chambers of Commerce: UK economic growth to slow to decade low in 2019

The British Chambers of Commerce trimmed growth forecasts for the U.K. as Brexit and trade uncertainties, coupled with global growth concerns, weigh on the British economy.

The Chambers of Commerce, or BCC, revised down its growth outlook to 1.2% in 2019, the weakest in a decade, from 1.3% projected previously and to 1.3% from 1.5% for 2020.

The employers group, which assumes that the U.K. will avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union, published its first forecast for 2021 of 1.4% growth.

"A messy and disorderly exit from the EU would materially increase the probability of the U.K. slipping into recession, particularly if global economic conditions continue to soften," said Suren Thiru, BCC head of economics.

Business investment in the U.K. is expected to decline by 1.0% in 2019 to its weakest level since the financial crisis of 2009, the BCC added, amid uncertainty over the U.K.'s relationship with the EU after leaving the bloc.

The BCC expects net trade to negatively contribute to GDP growth over the forecast period, reflecting the lack of clarity on the U.K.'s future trade arrangements, a global growth slowdown and ongoing trade tensions.