Responding to latest official GDP figures, showing the economy did not grow in the final quarter of 2019, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The UK economy ended 2019 in a funk, and despite a recent rise in optimism, businesses will be looking for a significant boost from the Chancellor next month.
“It’s likely that political uncertainty and unwinding stockpiles caused the economy to flag at the end of last year. However, firms entered 2020 with more of a spring in their step. Confidence has shot up, while hiring plans and investment intentions have also risen a notch, but the post-election bounce may tail off.
“Uncertainty from the next stage of Brexit negotiations will increasingly play on the minds of business leaders. Meanwhile, ongoing hiccups in global growth, including the fallout from Coronavirus, could eat into the economy if global financial markets and trade slow.
“This makes the Budget a crucial moment to get the economy moving. The Chancellor must clear the way for entrepreneurs to create jobs and drive up productivity, by unleashing investment in start-ups, slashing business rates, and revamping our skills system.”
Read the IoD’s full proposals for the March Budget here.