The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on the government to press ahead with its deficit reduction plan in order to pull the UK out of the double-dip recession.
This comes as the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that the national economy contracted by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2012.
Director-general of the BCC John Longworth urged the coalition to demonstrate bold leadership, as their policies are vital to the fiscal health of the country.
This is a stark contrast to the advice of the Trades Union Congress's general secretary Brendan Barber, who claimed that austerity is crushing any chance of a long-term, sustainable recovery.
Mr Longworth questioned the accuracy of the ONS data, noting that many firms up and down the UK are faring much better than this would appear to suggest.
"Ministers can't expect firms to bust a gut to grow if they fail to take a long-term approach to creating an enterprise-friendly environment," he remarked.