The rate of recovery in Britain’s economy increased towards the end of 2013, with the rate of inactivity of the UK’s workforce at its lowest rate since the early 1990’s. These kind of statements have been made by many reports recently, each noting the encouraging signs for the UK economy. Perhaps the most striking has come from the Office of National Statistics, who have reported that the economy grew 0.7% in the final 3 months of 2013, and that output has increased by 1.8% versus the previous year. When you couple this report with that of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), saying that they believe the next quarter of the year will see our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) exceed the level of 2008, which was before the recent recession, you begin to see that the signs are encouraging for the economy.
The news received a warm reception from the government, with David Cameron noting via Twitter (@DavidCameron) that the numbers were an encouraging sign that “our long-term economic plan is working”.
One of the more interesting lines in the Office National Statistics report is that inactivity is falling, i.e. the labour market is becoming increasingly competitive as the industry gets further towards its capacity. This will present a series of challenges for the SME sector in particular as it seeks to employ adequately trained and professional staff to ensure it keeps pace with the rate of growth experienced elsewhere.
There are, or course, other ways to gain vital knowledge and expertise without having to dip into the labour market. Collaboration is a great way to expand without having to invest in more staff and/or expand quickly.
We’d love to know your thoughts on whether you feel the economy is improving as much as these reports suggest. Please leave your thoughts below, have you seen the economic improvements having an impact on your business?