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Recession exit a hollow victory despite robust first quarter, ICAEW says

Author: ICAEW

Published: 10 May 2024

Suren Thiru, ICAEW Economics Director, responded to the latest UK GDP figures, released by the Office for National Statistics today (Friday 10 May 2024):

“These figures confirm an easy exit from the shallowest of recessions for the UK, as lower inflation helped return the economy to growth in the first quarter. 

“The UK’s escape from recession is a rather hollow victory because the big picture remains one of an economy struggling with stagnation, as poor productivity and high economic inactivity limits our growth potential. 

“The economy could struggle to kick on further in the second quarter as the boost to people’s incomes from weaker inflation is partly curtailed by renewed caution to spend and invest, amid higher unemployment and ongoing political uncertainty.  

“The strong exit from recession may inadvertently keep UK interest rates higher for longer by giving those policymakers still worried about underlying inflationary pressures enough comfort on economic conditions to continue putting off cutting rates.” 


Notes to editors:

Contact: ICAEW media office media.office@icaew.com, tom.mackintosh@icaew.com or 07866 853 841