The UK is facing a serious risk of recession within months, according to the findings of a survey of almost 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses. The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) quarterly report found the credit crunch and rising costs had dented the most important sectors of the economy. Firms in the manufacturing and services sector said domestic sales and orders had slowed over the past three months. The BCC, which represents many small and medium-sized businesses, also said firms were now experiencing serious cash-flow problems. Its economic adviser, David Kern, said the survey showed a 'menacing deterioration' in UK prospects. "We are now facing serious risks of recession," he added. "The outlook is grim and we believe that the correction period is likely to be longer and nastier than expected."