Commenting on the Q1 National Accounts release, which show the UK’s current account deficit remaining unsustainably high at 5.8%, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The current account deficit is as big of a risk to the UK’s future prosperity as the Eurozone crisis or other international shocks – and it is high time this stark fact is recognised.
“Although businesspeople and the Bank of England keenly understand the risk that an unsustainable current account deficit presents, successive governments have failed to treat it with the seriousness it deserves. The size and persistence of the UK’s current account deficit make us hugely vulnerable to external shocks, unexpected shifts in market sentiment, and unwelcome downgrades to our credit rating.
“While it is good to see some improvement over the quarter, the huge current account deficit should be setting off alarm bells. Recent improvements mask long-term falls in net investment and overseas income, as well as our lacklustre export performance. These issues merit immediate and sustained attention, both in Westminster and in boardrooms across Britain.”