The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has cut its forecast for growth this year and next, forecasting gross domestic product (GDP) to edge up by 0.6% in 2013 and 1.7% in 2014.
It believes the UK will avoid a triple dip recession, with the economy recovering from its 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter to grow in the first quarter - albeit by a paltry 0.1%.
David Kern, BCC chief economist, said:
We expect quarterly growth to increase very gradually over the next two years, but it will remain modest and below-trend for some time.
In addition, we now expect GDP to return to its pre-recession levels early in 2015 and the squeeze on living standards will continue for a while longer.