The figures have finally been released – the UK has avoided a triple dip recession as the economy has returned to growth, albeit marginal. Today has seen confirmation that GDP grew by 0.3% in the first 3 months of 2013, showing that we might be on the way to recovery and have avoided the triple dip.
Many analysts had predicted that the economy would return to growth, buoyed by a resurgent services sector which itself demonstrated growth of 0.6%. This sector contributed most to the overall growth of 0.3% of GDP and does to an extent gloss over other sectors which are finding life harder.
This new growth followed a contraction of 0.3% in the final 3 months of 2012, putting the UK precariously close to the two quarters of negative growth which entail a recession. George Osbourne has commented that the new figures are “an encouraging sign the economy is healing. Despite a tough economic backdrop, we are making progress.”
He continues: “The deficit is down by a third, businesses have created over a million and a quarter new jobs, and interest rates are at record lows. We all know there are no easy answers to problems built up over many years, and I can’t promise the road ahead will always be smooth, but by continuing to confront our problems head on, Britain is recovering and we are building an economy fit for the future.”
Hopefully this will be good news for small businesses. Coupled with a Spring Budget that has widely been hailed as one helpful to small businesses, there is perhaps light at the end of the tunnel. However, it’s important to remember that growth is still only marginal – businesses will need to research their finance options fully and take advantage of all the opportunities laid before them if they are to grow in this challenging economic environment.