IoD ”Unparalleled’ GDP figures means action needed’

Responding to latest official economic figures, suggesting GDP fell in April by 20.4%, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The economic turmoil caused by coronavirus is unparalleled. The fall in activity is steep, and is likely to scar the UK economy for some time yet.

“Emergency loan schemes have helped stop firms collapsing, but left many saddled with debt. Businesses will be reluctant to hire and spend on new projects as they repair their finances, particularly as social distancing eats into demand and productivity. Firms will continue to face cashflow challenges in the months ahead.

“Having provided businesses life support, the government must now figure out how to stimulate activity. As the furlough scheme winds down, further job losses could be on the cards without additional support for firms’ costs. To help spur business investment, the Government must make good on its commitment to broaden existing tax reliefs for research and development. Waiting until later in the year to act will risk more businesses and jobs being lost.”