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15 Feb 2024

Chamber Optimistic ‘Technical Recession’ will be Short Lived

While the latest GDP figures from the Office of National Statistics show the UK has entered a technical recession after dropping 0.3% in the last quarter of 2023, ONS inflation figures released earlier this week defied prediction and stayed static at 4% and annual average regular earnings in the private sector grew 6.2%

East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles said:

“Recession is never a word anyone wants to hear, however, there are signs over the last week that suggest things could be on the mend sooner rather than later. Inflation didn’t shoot up as many anticipated, unemployment is low and we’ve seen growth in annual average earnings, especially in the private sector. From what businesses have been telling us since the start of the year, we believe that figures for the current quarter will show a return to growth.

“Without a doubt, it’s been a prolonged and tough time for business and while we’re far from being out of the woods it’s good to see some positive economic indications with reasons to have cautious optimism over the next months. The resourcefulness and resilience of businesses over the last few turbulent years has been incredible, weathering one knock after another. We’ve seen fuel prices rise, recent storms dented spending, especially over the festive season and recovery has been slower than it should have been. The challenges faced daily remain real. In the East Midlands we need Government to do more to ease pressure in taxation, we need investment in transport, in digital infrastructure and staff upskilling to get where we know we can be.

It’s important that the Government’s Spring Budget – only weeks away now – addresses the very real barriers that have inhibited growth potential. In a General Election year all ears should listen up, be ready to act and enable businesses to get ahead.”