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UK businesses urge gov't action to invigorate dwindling economy

LONDON -- Britain's government must take bold steps to boost investment, and the Bank of England should drop its resistance to buying company loans in order to get the economy out of recession, the country's largest business lobby said on Friday.

The call by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) for sweeping, potentially debt-financed measures to boost growth heaps further pressure on finance minister George Osborne, who has warned that any fiscal loosening could cost Britain its top credit rating.

The BCC says the government is already set to miss its goal to erase the deficit within five years, as the economy looks likely to shrink this year and a meaningful recovery remains elusive due to the drag from the eurozone debt crisis.

However, a near-term spending boost accompanied by plans to rein in spending on welfare, pensions and public services was possible without losing investors' trust, the BCC said.

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