Weekly Digest – 10 April 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Economic update: why the recession may soon be over

The UK’s recession appears to be ending with cuts to summer interest rate likely. ICAEW’s Economies Director Suren Thiru discusses the key points to watch.

The UK economy beat all but one of its G7 peers on this metric last year

UK gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) in the UK since 2019, the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic year has outperformed all G7 nations apart from Italy and the US and is level with France.

Tentative signs of economic green shoots as business confidence rises

The latest data from the Institute of Directors shows that business confidence in the UK economy took a significant leap forward in March.

British Industry Supercharger gives huge boost to UK businesses

Around 370 businesses employing 400,000 skilled workers around the country are set to benefit from lower costs as a result of the rollout of the British Industry Supercharger.

6 in 10 UK companies prefer to buy British

Business Matters has covered the results of the 2024 Buying British Survey, recognising the rise of the ‘buy British’ sentiment. ‘Almost six in ten of businesses prefer to buy UK-manufactured products over alternatives imported from other countries as ‘buy British’ sentiment rises 20% at businesses across the economy, according to nationwide research.’

UK house prices fall for first time in 6 months as rates stay high

British house prices fell 1.0% in March, their first drop since September 2023, figures from mortgage lender Halifax showed on Friday, contrasting with the more upbeat picture from other housing data earlier in the week.

Covid support scheme fraud has cost taxpayer over £10bn

The British taxpayer has lost more than £10 billion on Covid support schemes as a result of fraud and error, figures released by the Government show.

Brexit import charges may mean rise in food prices, say trade groups

Trade groups have warned that consumers could see a rise in food prices after the UK government announced the introduction of post-Brexit charges on imports of EU food and plant products later this month.

Why UK recession may be deeper than two quarters of falling GDP suggest

As the UK economy struggled for momentum, with households tightening their belts, higher defence spending in the second half of last year was a factor that prevented it from contracting by more than it did. The second estimate by the Office for National Statistics of national income, as measured by gross domestic product last year, showed that extra cash for the military, and an increase in government spending more generally, masked a deep and persistent recession in manufacturing and downturns in several other sectors of the economy.

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