The Office of National Statistics released figures in June that estimated GDP had grown by 1.5% in the three months to April 2021. This release was made days ahead of the announcement by the government on the 14th of June that has delayed the reopening of the UK until July, and this cast a shadow on the otherwise general positive trend published by the ONS.
In a piece run on the Internet Retailing digital news site, Destination Digital’s Debbie Porter forewarned, “With the Indian variant of Covid picking up pace, there’s no saying what will be announced on the 21st, which could throw everything up into the air once again. The end of the furlough scheme and the announcement on June 21 are intrinsically linked. Businesses that are so positively stepping forwards right now could have the rug pulled from under them if each hand by the Government isn’t played exactly right.”
Hot on the heels of this 11 June announcement, the Office for National Statistics revealed that the UK jobs market was on its way up. All very positive you might say, but many of the small business owners consulted on this data release from the ONS held the opposite view, demonstrating that the numbers didn’t quite match the mood of the small business population.
As part of a feature for Fresh Business Thinking Debbie was again one of the commentators. She shared her view that the furlough scheme had been artificially propping up the economy for many months.
In tune with the headline that businesses were preparing for ‘a bloodbath of redundancies’ she commented, “There have been winners and losers during the past 15 months, with a company’s fate often being decided by the industry it is in. We are seeing an enforced economic revolution, where businesses and industries that are no longer viable slowly disappear.”
Although we’ve expanded during lockdown due to increased business, as Debbie points out in the piece, we have no room for complacency. The wider effects on the economy will be felt weeks down the line from the end of the furlough scheme and so this summer will have many businesses watching and waiting before making key decisions.
Read the full article on the Internet retailing website: https://internetretailing.net/industry/strong-retail-sales-underpin-rise-in-uk-gdp-ons-23296
Read the full article here on the fresh business thinking digital magazine website: https://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/leadership-and-exit-strategies/businesses-prepare-for-a-bloodbath-of-redundancies-when-furlough-support-starts-to-reduce/48099.article?fbclid=IwAR2l5xToTf0TK3qfbYwXPbE7IegUI5baizpAUs9wBucfdznz874jMiT8_0E
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