Depending on which newspaper you read, anything less than 0.6% was going to go down like a lead balloon in the City. Anything more would be good.
So 1% was a bit of a shocker – certainly coming in at the higher end of the estimate spectrum in Thursday morning’s media.
Since this has been fully digested though, the headlines have been that 0.7% of that figure was down to the Olympic ‘bounce’, therefore growth was merely 0.3%.
But even if that was true, this probably misses the point, and that is that the economy is growing again. This should be the real headline in all this.
While even 1% on its own is weak growth, and it’s also entirely likely that the Olympics helped boost the figure higher – whether it’s much as 0.7% seems unlikely – it is growth just the same. It’s too easy only to hear the negative sometimes, and small business needs some good news. And this is it!
It’s possible this will be the moment commentators will look back on in the months and years ahead to say this was the tipping point. To famously quote Churchill: This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
So while we have just exited a double dip recession, it’s now down to the Government to make sure we use the momentum to carry us to calmer waters. We think the Coalition has to now slash business red tape as a way to do this.
As Tony Blair once famously said: education, education, education. So we say: deregulate, deregulate, deregulate!
The UK economy must now be nurtured for sustained growth for the months and years ahead, and this must be achieved by helping small firms to grow and continue to create more jobs for the private sector.
This week we have seen the announcement of the Supply Chain Finance Scheme, this in itself an acknowledgement that the banks still aren’t lending. We need Government to continue exerting pressure on the lenders, because only when the banks do can the economy truly recover.
The Autumn Statement is only around the corner, and we will want to see some big announcements in there.
To sort of borrow a quote from Admiral Lord Nelson: Small business expects…