Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Warning over delaying end to lockdown

Delaying the end of lockdown would 'materially slow' the economic recovery, a leading business group warns.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) predicts that UK GDP will grow by 6.8% this year, the strongest surge since official records began in 1949.

But Suren Thiru, head of economics at BCC, said: "The squeeze on activity and the damage to confidence from a marked delay to the full lifting of restrictions or further restrictions to combat covid variants would materially slow the recovery."

The forecast suggests a "historically robust short-term outlook" for the economy.

Thiru added: "The UK economy is in a temporary sweet spot with the boost from the release of pent-up demand, if restrictions ease as planned, and ongoing government support expected to drive a substantial summer revival in economic activity, underpinned by the rapid vaccine rollout.

"Beyond the strong short-term outlook, notable economic scarring from the pandemic is projected to weigh on economic activity once government support winds down and drive an uneven recovery across different sectors and groups of people."

The UK economy shows a reliance on consumer expenditure to drive growth, with net trade projected to be a drag on the economy. Such economic imbalances leave the UK more exposed to future economic shocks like inflation.

If covid restrictions continue to be released, UK GDP growth will be strongest over Q2 2021 and Q3 2021, the report predicts. The UK economy is then expected to return to its pre-pandemic level in Q1 2022 with growth of 5.1% projected for next year.

Responding to the forecast, Hannah Essex, Co-Executive Director the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Historic levels of growth for this year are predicted, a testament to the flexibility and innovation shown by businesses and the resilience of consumers.

"These predictions rely upon the Government hitting its target date for the full re-opening of the economy. If there are bumps in the road, the government must be prepared to extend existing support until all sectors are able to fully trade again."

Related Articles

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Thursday, July 29 Image

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Thursday, July 29

The ongoing coronavirus situation is changing by the hour with announcements being made about businesses and services that are being forced to adapt and change.

'One Cathedral View' at The Forum hits the market Image

'One Cathedral View' at The Forum hits the market

The first commercial property advert has been published for The Forum development in Gloucester.

New Cheltenham store to open after £175,000 investment Image

New Cheltenham store to open after £175,000 investment

Cheltenham has been chosen as the latest location for one of the UK's fastest growing retailers.

The future of Gloucester according to business and city leaders Image

The future of Gloucester according to business and city leaders

A coalition of business and political leaders met for a Gloucester at a Crossroads webinar to discuss the future of Gloucester.

Copyright 2021 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.