UK Deeper in Recession

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) this morning say that the UK economy is further into recession as economic output for the last quarter dropped by 0.7% (April – June) Despite various analyses saying that the economy would only stagnate, the UK actually went into recession again back in Q1 2012 as the growth rate went into negative figures for the second quarter in a row (Q4 2011 -0.3%, Q1 2012 -0.2%) The latest figure of -0.7% is bigger than expected and is being blamed on weakness in the construction industry (-5.2%), a fall in manufacturing output (-1.3%) and a tiny but still negative 0.1% drop in service sector production. Other factors that may have affected the economy include the additional bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend and blaim... »

Economic Slowdown Doesn’t Mean Another Recession, says BCC

Sluggish consumer spending and high inflation mean economic growth will be slower than expected over the next two years, but another recession is unlikely, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said. The BCC’s latest quarterly economic forecast predicted UK economic growth would be 1.3 per cent this year and 2.2% in 2012, down from its forecast in March of 1.4% and 2.3%.  Despite its pessimistic outlook, the BCC said it supported the Government’s tough fiscal approach to tackling the UK’s deficit and that a further recession was “unlikely”. “The Government has more to do if the private sector is to create new jobs, invest and export, and contribute to a lasting economic recovery in the UK.” said BCC director general, David Frost. “New regulatory burdens, business tax... »

Recession Changed my Life – For the Better

The recession has been a challenge for many people but an opportunity for others. 24-year-old fashion graduate, Maxine Wells, was one of those who found that it changed her life for the better. The economic downturn has proven particularly difficult for young people. Like many of her age, Maxine was fresh from university and struggled to find work. She decided instead to create Maxine’s of London, a high-end lingerie label, selling handmade corsets and luxury underwear online and through a London boutique. She is now on the verge of signing up a new boutique to stock her range. Maxine explains: “I was looking for a job at the worst possible time as the recession was at its peak. I decided to start making lingerie in my spare time and soon took the decision of turning this activ... »

Too Early to Celebrate End of Recession

Too Early to Celebrate End of Recession

Businesses should remain cautious and restrict their spending despite claims that the recession is over, business consultancy firm RSM Tenon has warned, as there may be a further slump in spending to come. Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the UK economy grew by 0.1 per cent in the last three months of 2009 ― mainly driven by an increase in manufacturing output. Previously, the economy contracted for six consecutive quarters, the longest period since the ONS started its quarterly survey in 1955. However, RSM Tenon’s director of accounting, Tom MacLennan, urged firms to be cautious. “The figures show fairly marginal growth in the last quarter of last year and could be revised. Technically we are out of recession, but businesses should wait to se... »

Recession Fuels Surge in Internet Entrepreneurs

The recession has led to a boom in the numbers of first time entrepreneurs setting up small internet based businesses, according to figures released today. PIXmania-PRO, part of the DSGi group, questioned over 2,000 customers following a surge in demand of 30% for its online reselling services. Feedback from respondents revealed that over half (57%) have been set up by first time entrepreneurs who are turning to the internet to make a living amid concerns over job stability and financial security. The research estimates that over 170,000 Brits have set up online reselling businesses in 2009. Popular with so called "e-Bay entrepreneurs", reselling allows entrepreneurs to sell on products direct from a large retailer without needing to purchase or hold any stock first. The ability ... »

UK to Emerge from Recession after Election

UK to Emerge from Recession after Election

Despite the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) saying Britain is already out of recession the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has predicted that business investment is unlikely to increase and the economy will not emerge from recession until after this spring’s general election, According to the FSB’s head of public affairs, Stephen Alambritis, while it will be another difficult year for businesses there are signs that the UK will start to emerge from recession after the general election — which is expected to take place in May this year. “The results of the general election will influence investment decisions, as businesses don’t yet know what the tax rates will be — for example capital gains tax — and that will hold t... »

SMEs Lose Out in Queens Speech

Recession leads to launch of 300,000 Home-based Businesses

Almost a third of a million people have started home-based businesses in the last 12 months, mainly due to redundancy or job insecurity, a new report from Enterprise Nation has revealed. The 2009 Home Business Report found that 300,000 home-based businesses have been created in the last year, taking the total number to 2.8 million. The survey also found that 49% of home-business owners said that the freedom to make their own decisions was the most enjoyable part of self-employment. The research also revealed that 89% expect their turnover to increase during the next 12 months. Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones, said that the recession has caused many people to set up in business: “Some people have been made redundant and decided to use the opportunity to do their own thing. Other... »

Will Retailers get More Time for VAT Rise?

Export Growth Despite Recessionary Pressure

A significant proportion of small to medium-sized businesses in the UK have reported an increase in the export side of their business, according to new research from leading independent invoice financier Bibby Financial Services. The study revealed: 41% of businesses have experienced growth in the export side of their business 31% of businesses say that the strengthening of the Euro has had a positive impact on their business The economic downturn has prompted 29% of businesses to refocus their efforts towards international markets The research, conducted among 200 small and medium-sized firms across a range of sectors, was compiled in order to reveal key findings about how the recession has impacted the UK’s import and export markets. Worryingly, however: 42% of businesses say that ... »

Extended Recession may Force Redundancies

Extended Recession may Force Redundancies

Small firms that have avoided making redundancies in the hope that the recession would not be too long, may now be forced to make cutbacks, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has warned, writes Kate Horstead. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the UK economy was still in decline in the third quarter of 2009, with GDP falling by 0.4%. The research found that there were declines in output in all sections of the economy. Economic analysts have warned that the results were worse than expected and point to a slow recovery. “The figures are disappointing for businesses, which may have to make more redundancies due to the difficulties in obtaining bank credit,” said IoD senior economist, Peter Patterson. “Many businesses have avoided laying of... »

Fuel Duty Rise will Slow Down Recovery for Small Firms

Fuel Duty Rise will Slow Down Recovery for Small Firms

The latest 2p increase in fuel duty will hit small firms hard, and is likely to impact on economic recovery, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. The rise is the third increase in nine months, and brings the average price of petrol across the UK to around 105 pence a litre. Calling the fuel price increase an unwelcome overhead at “a very difficult time”, the FSB warned that it would set back business recovery for many firms. “High fuel prices cause difficulties in every part of the economy, but small businesses that are dependent on cars, those who travel to their customers, or whose business is in haulage or logistics, are hit particularly hard,” said John Wright, National Chairman Federation of Small Businesses. “Rises in fuel duty could have... »

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