Monday, July 15, 2024

UK economy showed no growth in April

The UK economy showed no growth in April, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It comes after GDP (gross domestic product), a key measure of economy growth, increased 0.4% in March, and reflects expectations that GDP would be flat.

Economic growth was held back by further contraction in the construction industry, with construction output falling by 1.4% in April, its third consecutive monthly fall, and weakness in the manufacturing sector, with production output dropping by 0.9% in April.

Meanwhile services output grew by just 0.2% in April, its fourth consecutive monthly growth.

The figures were in part impacted by wet weather, where rain was 155% of the long term April average.

Ben Jones, Lead Economist, CBI, said: “After one of the wettest Aprils since records began it’s no surprise that rain dampened consumer spending, with many households also feeling the pinch from higher prices and bills.

“But consumers and firms alike are going to start to feel the benefit of lower inflation, which in turn should boost confidence and support spending as we head into a summer packed with major entertainment and sports events, like the Euros.

“Lower inflation, rising real incomes and low unemployment mean household spending is set to drive a steady economic recovery in the year ahead, which should broaden out to stronger business investment next year.

“However, to ensure longer-term, sustainable growth we must tackle our ongoing productivity problem. Top of the in-tray for the next government should be a cutting-edge trade and investment strategy, a Net Zero Investment Plan and more support for firms to invest in automation and AI.

“At the same time, a focus on building momentum behind the ‘big three’ enablers of tax, planning and skills policies within the first 100 days can give firms a clear flightpath for growth.”

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