UK economy returns to growth

13 Mar 2024

The UK's economy returned to growth in January, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The economy grew by 0.2% during the first month of 2024 following a fall in output during the previous month.

The economy was boosted by stronger sales in shops and online and more construction activity in January.

The ONS said the services sector led the bounce back after retailers struggled to draw in shoppers in December.

David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 'Today's data, showing an estimated 0.1% decline in GDP in the three months to January, is further evidence that the UK economy remains in a precarious state.

'However, estimated growth of 0.2% in January may indicate the 2023 technical recession is over.

'Businesses are clear about the factors that are holding back growth – high inflation, high interest rates, skills shortages, a lack of infrastructure investment and trade barriers with the EU.

'Last week's Budget saw some positive measures for businesses, including an increase to the VAT registration threshold. However, the statement was not a game changer and the UK stills lacks a clear industrial strategy to unlock long-term growth.'

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