Are we in line for a robust economic recovery?

04 May 2021

There are renewed hopes that the UK economy will see a robust economic rebound, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Despite the national lockdown, February’s economic performance was improved as businesses continued to adapt to operating within health restrictions and to new border rules.

The statement has been made in the BRC’s Economic Retail Report for April 2021.

Key findings are:

  • UK monthly GDP rose by 0.4% in February, up from -2.2% in January, although below market expectations of 0.6%. Despite the national lockdown, February’s economic performance was improved as businesses continued to adapt to operating within health restrictions and to new border rules.
  • In the week to April 22nd, total credit and debit card purchases rose by 7 percentage points from the previous week to 98% of its February 2020 average, driven mainly by a continued increase in “delayable” spending.
  • Businesses expect to increase their capital expenditure, with investment intentions for plant & machinery at their strongest since July 1997, bringing hopes of an “investment-led recovery”.
  • Unemployment fell to 4.9% in the three months to February, down from 5.0% in the three months to January. In the week of April 23rd, online job adverts were 3% higher than in February 2020, and the first time they have exceeded this level since 6 March 2020.
  • CPI inflation rose to 0.7% in March, up from 0.4% in February.

Download the report here


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