BCC Engagement Last week Adam attended the cluster meeting of South West and Wales Chambers of Commerce, and met with Sir John Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. The team also met with Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chair of the John Lewis Partnership. This week the team looks forward to welcoming Chief Executives from the Network at the latest CEO Roundtable in London. Adam and Jane Gratton also attend a meeting of Northern Chambers and Network Rail at a summit in Leeds. Mike Spicer visits Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, and the team meets Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride. BCC Annual Conference – Arlene Foster, Liam Fox, Rebecca Long-Bailey added We are delighted to announce the main political speakers at this year’s Annual Conference. Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, and Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey will speak at the BCC Annual Conference, adding to what is already a fantastic agenda of speakers and topics. To stay up to date with the latest programme developments and speaker announcements, see the BCC Conference website. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a selection of senior decision-makers, business leaders and opinion formers, as they discuss the subjects most relevant to the future of UK business. If your Chamber would prefer to be invoiced for your tickets, please get in touch with Claire Harding. If you have not been receiving updates on the Annual Conference and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Rose Averis. Industrial strategy: call for case studies and for Chambers to host BEIS 'Grand Challenges' team The UK Government's Industrial Strategy White Paper, published in November 2017, identifies four 'Grand Challenges' or global trends with clear potential for British leadership. These include artificial intelligence and big data; clean growth; the future of mobility; and meeting the needs of an ageing society. The BCC has been working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to take this forward and is looking to link up the team in Whitehall to Chambers and their business communities across the country. We are looking for Chambers who are willing and able to host civil servants from the Grand Challenges Team at BEIS who would like to interact with members on one or more of the themes above. Ideally, this would slot in with existing events. BEIS is also looking for case studies of Chamber members who are already 'disruptors' in their respective Grand Challenge area and would be willing to share their experience. Please contact Fiona Krasniqi for more information. QES fieldwork begins today The fieldwork for the Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) for Q1 2018 began today (19 February) and will finish on 12 March. The QES is the largest and longest-running business survey in the UK and is a powerful tool for representing the voice of business to Government. To retain its reputation as a reliable economic indicator and a powerful tool for lobbying, it is vital as many businesses as possible respond to it. At the national level, it’s a leading indicator – often picking up big changes in the economy long before other surveys or official statistics:
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee uses the QES as one of its key benchmarks when setting interest rates.
HM Treasury and the independent Office for Budget Responsibility use the QES to put together their forecasts for the UK’s economic performance.
The European Commission uses the QES to assess the health of the UK economy
Last week Adam Marshall wrote online for the Guardian, warning over the skills shortages across the country. Jane Gratton spoke to LBC on Friday about the same topic.
Suren Thiru's inflation comment was picked up by The Independent.
A joint letter from BCC, EEF, and BSI on maintaining the UK's position as a 'standards maker' after Brexit was featured in the Times today.
CPI inflation in the UK stood at 3.0% in January 2018, unchanged from December. The largest downward contribution to change in the rate came from prices for motor fuels, which rose by less than they did a year ago. The main upward effect came from prices for a range of recreational and cultural goods and services. UK retail sales grew by 0.1% in January 2018 and were up by 1.6% in annual terms. According to the flash estimate, the Eurozone economy grew by 2.5% in 2017, the fastest growth rate since 2007. For more information, please contact Suren Thiru.