IoD: Growth figures may just be ‘a flash in the pan’

Responding to the latest official GDP statistics for the UK, showing growth in Q1 rose to 0.5%, Tej Parikh, Senior Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The relatively strong growth figures for Q1 may just be a flash in the pan.

“Some businesses brought activity forward early this year in preparation for leaving the EU, so higher stocks and earlier orders have artificially bumped up the growth numbers. In Q2 many firms will be keen to run down their Brexit caches, which will drag on economic growth. Keen consumers also played a key role in lifting sales in the first quarter, but barring temporary boosts due to weather, households will overall remain cautious in the months ahead.

“While the Brexit extension avoided the immediate risk of ‘no deal’, the economy will remain in a state of limbo until there is a clear path out of this situation. Households are still being put off from making big purchases and business leaders are shelving major projects. The economy has undoubtedly displayed some resilience, but if the uncertainty abated we could be building upon this solid base.”