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13th December 2023

GDP data confirms low-to-no growth cycle

The ONS has released the latest GDP data.

Paul Butterworth, CEO at Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:

“The latest GDP data from the ONS shows that the UK economy is in a low-to-no growth cycle. The 0.3% fall in monthly GDP and no growth at all in the three months to October, with sectors including construction, manufacturing and services all contracting, suggests that the economy is stagnating and that plans to boost growth are sorely needed.

“A barrier to growth currently is the ongoing skills shortage. Training and upskilling employees is vital for economic growth in Wales, with half of Welsh businesses telling us in Q3 of 2023 that upskilling staff is a high priority for their business. Around a third of businesses in Wales identified skills development as an opportunity to recover in our Quarterly Economic Survey but only 18% increased investment for training over the last three months.

“The recent Autumn Statement outlined actions such as full expensing and investment zones to support growth and incentivise investment among the 110 economic measures announced. These measures, underpinned by a long-term strategy for growth including skills development, need to come to fruition for businesses in Wales to have the confidence and ambition to plan ahead.”

David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Today’s data from the ONS showing 0.0% GDP growth for the three months to October, as well as a 0.3% fall in the month, confirms the low-to-no growth cycle the UK economy is in.

“As we end the year, the outlook remains challenging. Our Quarterly Economic Forecast, published last week, expects growth below 1.0% each year for the next three years.

“The UK economy remains one of the most advanced in the world, but it’s difficult to see where further growth will come from, as inflation, interest rates, policy churn, and trade barriers with the European Union prevent many firms from making long-term investment plans.

“The Autumn Statement contained some solid announcements for businesses around full expensing, the planning system, and the grid, but this needs to be underpinned by a long-term plan for investment.”

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