The CBI conference opened with a friendly warning to the Prime Minister on the dangers of isolating the UK in Europe.
The Scottish CBI is "not convinced of the business and economic case" for independence, it will announce today.
A business leader said if there was a sudden deterioration in the eurozone it would be like an 'earthquake' for British firmS.
Around £1.25bn should be spent building 50,000 affordable homes, which would create 75,000 jobs, the business lobby group CBI urged.
Director general John Cridland said: "The Government must stick to its fiscal plan but now is the time to kick-start confidence.
"Our measures will provide another boost for the housing market and will benefit first-time buyers, those trapped in negative equity and those looking to refurbish their homes.
"To boost the construction sector, we are calling for 50,000 new affordable homes to be built, incentives for refurbishing empty homes and the housing guarantee scheme to be extended to all types of housing."
The head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) gave this reaction to today's release of GDP figures for the fourth quarter of 2012:
– John Cridland, CBI Director-General
After a difficult year, the UK economy has ended on a disappointing note.
We think growth will continue to be fairly flat through the winter but momentum will gradually build later in the year, as the global economy picks up a little and confidence lifts.
The CBI welcomed the Government's energy plans, but warned that vulnerable consumers should be protected from price hikes.
Its Director-General, John Cridland, said: “This package will send a strong signal to investors that the Government is serious about providing firms with the certainty they need to invest in affordable secure low-carbon energy.
“We now have political agreement on this critical issue and the Government should get the bill on the statute books as quickly as possible.
“As more details emerge, the Government should ensure that those households and businesses most vulnerable to increased energy prices are protected.”
The Prime Minister spoke to the European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and his Irish and Czech counterparts on the phone last night to try to work towards a deal on the EU budget.
A Number 10 spokesman said Mr Van Rompuy updated David Cameron on his discussions with other leaders.
The PM set out his view that EU spending cannot be discussed without reference to cuts back here in Britain.
Downing Street says he believes that Mr Van Rompuy is taking a step in the right direction, but believes further cuts can be made.
On the issue of the UK rebate, Number 10 confirmed it was in the proposals set out by the European Commission and revised by Van Rompuy, but he reiterated that it was not up for negotiation, adding: "We will protect our rebate. We think it's fully justified."
Prime Minister David Cameron promised to make it harder for opponents of developments to hold up planning decisions. Addressing the CBI conference Mr Cameron said:
"Government has been like someone endlessly writing a pros and cons list as an excuse not to do anything...this is not how we became one of the most successful nations in the world. It is not how you get things done." Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:
Tory MP David Davis has intensified his campaign for Britain to have a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU.
The Eurosceptic MP is calling for two national votes on the issue: one to approve a list of powers for the UK to seek to seize back, and another 'in-out' poll.
Speaking to Conservative Home, Mr Davis said the majority of Tory MPs are Eurosceptics, and the majority of the public want to see Britain take back "significant powers." He said:
"We must repatriate justice, immigration, social and employment laws, health and safety and financial regulation."
"Over 90% of Tory MPs are now Eurosceptics....70% of British people would vote for repatriation of significant powers."
Labour leader said the rise of Euroscepticism within the UK was causing "alarm" with partners across the bloc. He said being part of Europe was good for British business, and any exit would be a betrayal of the national interest:
"I will not let Britain sleepwalk to an exit from the European Union, it would be bad for prosperity"
He said the "reasons for scepticism are real" and it was up to leaders to tackle the questions raised about the problems of the single currency:
"Scepticism about the euro and the project undermines the case for the wider European Union"
The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said David Cameron does believe a deal can be reached on the European Union budget, due to be discussed during a summit this Thursday in Brussels. The spokeswoman said:
We're in negotiations in the run up to the European Council. We think we can agree a deal. The Prime Minister believes we can work through these details to get the right deal at this week's summit and we are ready to do that.
Mr Cameron has called for a real terms freeze for the 2014-2020 budget, and has threatened to use Britain's veto to stop any agreement that is "not in the interests of British taxpayers."
The spokeswoman said the Government was still seeking "at best a cut, at worst a freeze" in the budget.
Business Secretary Vince Cable told me the Government has to "walk a delicate balance" taking a hard line on budget, but not losing out in the European Union.