UK edging towards recovery, says expert

The UK is inching towards a very slow recovery, but businesses need to reinvest and increase pay, a leading economist told delegates to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Outlook Conference this week.

Mark Berrisford-Smith, head of economics for HSBC, said the UK was moving towards a recovery, but it would take some time, up to a further three to four years, he told the audience in London.

However, he said there was a strong need for businesses to spend: “Businesses are not reinvesting, companies are investing an eighth less in new equipment than they did in 2007.” He said this would leave companies at a disadvantage when coming out of the recession with outdated, poorer equipment.

He also pointed out that a reluctance to increase wages was also damaging the economy; with inflation running ahead of wages, people were not spending and putting money back in.

On a more positive note, he urged delegates to take the “official growth figures for the economy with a huge dollop of salt”. He said that if he were pressed, he would argue the economy was actually growing by around 0.5% to 1%.


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