Positive economic figures offset gloom over UK prospects

21st March 2013

· Volume of retail sales in February 2013: Up 2.

1% on the month, up 2.6% on the year · Public sector net borrowing in February 2013 was £2.8bn, £9bn lower than in February 2012 when net borrowing was £11.8bn   Commenting on the retail sales and public sector finance figures for February 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:   -The positive retail sales figures reinforce our hope, which is also supported by the OBR forecast, that GDP growth in the first quarter of the year was marginally positive. The figures serve to remind us that we must not exaggerate the gloom from the Budget, and that certain aspects within the economy are favourable. However it is important to remember that these are just one month's figures, following a poor January, and the three-monthly comparison paints a less buoyant picture.   -The lower than predicted public sector net borrowing in February means the full-year figure could be slightly lower than the OBR predicted. With the recent labour market figures also showing healthy job creation in the private sector, the priority must now be to enact the supply side policies announced by the Chancellor in the Budget. Given the global economic situation, improvements in growth will not be rapid and steep, but there are realistic hopes that the economy will see a gradual and steady improvement from the second quarter of this year onwards.

You might also be interested in

Local Businesses List Cleanliness, Safety and Retail As Their Top Priorities For Improvement in South Yorkshire’s Civic Centres

Mon 8th July 2024

Safety, cleanliness and the quality of retail have all been cited by South Yorkshire businesses as top priorities for their local urban cores. This is according to the recently-published findings of the Town and City Centre Survey.

BCC Quarterly Economic Survey: Business Confidence Continues To Tick Up in Q2

Mon 8th July 2024

The BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey – the UK’s largest and longest-running independent business survey – shows measures of business confidence and business conditions slightly improved in Q2 2024, albeit from a very low base.

Bank Seeks Further Evidence Before Rate Cut

Mon 1st July 2024

David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce reacts to the Bank of England’s latest interest rate decision

BCC DIRECTOR GENERAL SHEVAUN HAVILAND: STOP TREADING ON EGGSHELLS AROUND EU TRADE

Mon 1st July 2024

Director General of the BCC, Shevaun Haviland, has urged the next Government to stop treading on eggshells around trade with the EU if it wants to grow the UK economy.