UK is Fastest Growing Western Economy
Data from the latest ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) points to the UK being the fastest growing economy in the west.
The figures from the latest BCM show that the UK economy is projected to grow by 1.3% in Q4 of 2013.
Improvements in business confidence and consumer confidence are also helping to stimulate the overall mood in the country; business coinfidence alone is at its highest level in the 10 years since the BCM began. Furthermore, this is the fifth consecutive quarter where confidence has been on the increase.
With such improvements in conditions, businesses seem to be willing to invest again with the potential for employment to increase in the year ahead.
The report does however highlight that wage growth is weak with pay increases falling below the rate of inflation.
Michael Izza, ICAEW’s Chief Executive, said of the latest Business Confidence Monitor:
“This quarter’s report shows that the UK economic recovery is well underway. If it continues at this rate, the UK economy will be one of the fastest growing economies in the western world going into 2014. As significantly, the shape of the recovery is changing as businesses respond to rising confidence by looking to new markets and increasing their investment plans. However we cannot be complacent and all of us need work hard to maintain the momentum built up this year while remaining alive to the threats to our recovery, especially those outside the UK.”
Scott Barnes, the CEO of Grant Thornton UK was equally upbeat, adding:
“Growth in business confidence is accelerating, key financial performance indicators such as reported turnover and profit are on the rise and expected to improve further. While still at lower levels than we would like to see, there are tentative signs that businesses are increasing the pace of their investment and export plans; both instrumental in achieving solid UK economic growth. Reassuringly, confidence has increased across all three main industry sectors – Construction, Production Industries and Services – as the recovery becomes broad based.”
Other positives from the report point to an expected increase in turnover and growth and exports are anticipated to improve over the next 12 months.
The BDM also highlighted continued improvements in financial performance indicators and growing confidence in the construction industry and the property sector.
Commenting on these positives, Michael Izza said:
“With such low construction levels for so long, house building rates need to rise quickly. Such high confidence in the construction sector shows Britain is building its future.”
Scott Barnes added:
“Growth is all about doing more business – with turnover, profit and exports all heading up, it’s a clear indication of business leading the way.”
For full details of the latest ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), go to icaew.com/bcm