Business West welcomes economic bounce back but wants more action to promote further growth

July 28, 2014

Business West, the organisation that runs the Swindon Initiative, has welcomed the latest strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures as “a shot in the arm for business” but warned more work needed to be done to ensure a sustainable economic recovery.

The 0.8% quarterly increase in GDP means the UK economy as a whole is now back above pre-recession levels – although the manufacturing and construction sectors are lagging behind services in the strength of their recovery.

The figures, from the ONS, put annual growth for this year at 3.1%.

Business West director of public sector contracts Clive Wray said: “This positive national growth is in line with what our businesses are telling us.

“Results from our Local Business Survey this quarter painted a positive picture for our region and built on a strong start to the year, with increases in domestic sales (56%) and orders (53%) fuelling business confidence which is up on both the quarter and the year, standing at 74%.

“After positive news in the labour market in June, with unemployment down both nationally and in the South West, our firms told us that they have recruited more staff this quarter and expect to over the next three months. Export sales (45%) are up on both the quarter and the year, but export orders (38%) have decreased slightly this quarter.  The growth in GDP in Q2 has brought the UK economy out of the recession but there is still work to be done to address such issues as the trade deficit, low productivity and the labour market skills gap to ensure long-term sustainable growth.”

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