Paul Slevin, Executive Chair of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:
“The GDP figures for November, released today, provide further evidence that UK economic growth is heading in the wrong direction.
“While month-on-month GDP grew by 0.1%, the three month average stands at -0.3%, sending a clear signal of the current trajectory of the economy.
“Unprecedented energy costs, new trade barriers with the EU and the lasting impact of Covid lockdowns have created the hardest trading conditions for small businesses in recent history. These conditions are particularly felt here in Wales where SMEs make up 99% of businesses and around 40% of the economic contribution.
“However, despite ongoing challenges, small businesses in Wales remain optimistic about future growth. In our recent quarterly economic survey, almost half (47.54%) of businesses in Wales believe that turnover will increase over the next 12 months and over a third believe that profitability will also increase.
“To get back to growth in the long-term, businesses will need to see the removal of trade barriers, particularly with the EU, investment in public infrastructure, and measures to improve their access to appropriately skilled staff.”