Danny Alexander will tell business chiefs that it is their national duty to start spending some of the £500 billion of reserves that they are sitting on, in order to secure an economic recovery.

Speaking at the CBI's Growing Business Awards, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury will warn that the economy will not get into "top gear" until businesses take advantage of growing confidence by investing.

"The recovery needs you, and you need the recovery," he is set to say.

“We’ve done the emergency repairs; the engine has had a full service and is getting going again. But it won’t get into top gear until British business starts investing some of the half trillion pounds of cash it has built up.”

TODAY'S TOP STORIES

The Treasury is said to be "puzzled" by businesses' reluctance to invest, the Financial Times reports. Cash reserves rose £14 billion in the last quarter of the year and business investment fell 2.7%.

Business chiefs are expected to start dipping into their reserves in order to invest once the economic recovery starts to take off.

Alexander's comments come before Friday's publication of the third-quarter GDP figures, which are believed to show the economy grew by at least 0.8%.

See also:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Pre-election economy debate April 15, 2010

    Two things you may not believe. 1. Nick Clegg, for one brief, fleeting and glorious moment, was really popular. His performance in this debate gave a massive boost to the Lib Dems in the polls and gave the whole race a kick up the behind. 2. Clegg and Cameron were rivals <em>before</em> they were in a coalition together.

  • Cameron welcomes Clegg to Downing Street May 12, 2010

    Imagine you live in a house that's ok, not great, just ok. Now imagine you have this "mate", who you don't really like but you've got to hang round with him because your mates are mates with his mates and your wives get on, that kind of thing. Now imagine that this "mate" that you secretly can't stand has a really, <em>really</em>, nice house that you would absolutely love and he invites you round. I'm pretty sure that's how Clegg felt here.

  • The Downing Street Rose Garden May 12, 2010

    Cameron once called Clegg his favourite joke. Ouch. Obviously that came back to haunt him pretty quick. The funniest thing about this clip though isn't the joke, it's the harrowing and completely un-heart-felt cry of "come back!" from Cameron.

  • Birmingham Mar 24, 2011

    Without the patience to wait for the seven-year-itch, Cameron and Clegg instead let 11 months pass before letting the cracks appear. After a rather heated debate, Clegg could be heard commenting to Cameron that if they carried on like this they wouldn't have anything left to argue about.

  • Leveson Inquiry November 29, 2012

    In a hugely symbolic move, Clegg insisted on making a separate statement on the findings of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards. Although the Government insisted it did not represent "a massive split or disagreement", few could fail to see the significance.

Also on HuffPost: