Green shoots taking root in the UK


Filed Under: Investing in the UK

Written by: Melissa Thomas

Over recent months we have seen signs that the UK economy is entering a period of solid recovery.

The latest UK Economic Forecast by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) saw a revised 2014 economic growth forecast from 2.3% in Q3 2013, to 2.9% in Q4 2013. The ICAEW also reported an increase in business confidence for five consecutive quarters, the longest period of rising confidence on record.

Furthermore, the Office for National Statistics said that the UK economy grew in every quarter last year, with the annual growth rate of the British economy at 1.9% which is the strongest since 2007 (click here for the report).

This is backed up by the latest quarterly survey results from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in which responses from almost 8,000 businesses showed that key indicators for the economy are higher than before the start of the financial crisis in 2007. The manufacturing sector reported five indicators, including orders and employment, at an all-time high.

Recovery gathering momentum according to retail figures

In other sectors, indicators from the BCC saw a rise in retail sales volumes by 2.6% in December 2013, despite a weaker than expected Christmas shopping period (click here). Chief Economist David Kern commented that ‘the recovery is gathering momentum and...the pace of expansion is likely to strengthen.’

UK tech sector going from strength to strength

The Barclays Employers Survey ranked tech as one of the most confident sectors in the UK, with 71% of tech companies saying they will increase wages in 2014. 78% of respondents also said they felt more confident than at the same time last year.

Further positive news for the sector came via the Tech Monitor UK report, compiled by KPMG and Markit. According to the report, the tech sector recorded the best growth performance for almost a decade in the last quarter of 2013. UK tech businesses also reported the fastest profitability improvement for six years.

Melissa Thomas, Senior Manager for International Business at Blick Rothenberg, said “this positive growth within the UK economy continues to be reflected through the enthusiasm that the firm is seeing overseas companies adopt towards looking at expanding here, and in using the UK as a springboard to opportunities in other jurisdictions.”