The British economy is stabilizing, but growth will not return until the beginning of next year and will then be slow, the country’s leading business lobby group said yesterday.
In its latest forecast, the CBI said GDP would likely flatten out during the second half of this year.
“The UK economy is stabilizing, with the worst of the quarterly falls in GDP behind us, but it will take until the beginning of next year before we see a return to growth,” it said, adding that growth would be “modest.”
It said the economy would retract by 0.1 percent in the third quarter of this year, zero percent in the fourth and grow by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent in the first two quarters of next year.
“The return to growth is likely to be a slow and gradual one; difficult credit conditions are still affecting business behavior,” CBI director general Richard Lambert said.
He said that some analysts had begun to speak of “green shoots” in the recession-hit economy, including the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which said that GDP grew in April, but expressed caution.
“It will take some time before we can be sure these shoots have roots we can depend on for sustainable growth and, in the meantime, the government must do everything it can to help firms get access to credit,” he said.
The CBI forecast that by the end of the recession, the UK’s economy would have shrunk by a cumulative 4.8 percent, including 3.9 percent this year, after five successive quarters of retraction.
This was not as severe as the recession of the early 1980s, when GDP fell by a cumulative 5.9 percent, it said, and predicted growth of 0.7 percent next year.
The group said Britain’s labor market was proving to be “even more flexible than hoped,” with private sector employees accepting wage freezes and short-time working and said this would limit job losses this year.
Yet unemployment is still likely to continue rising to a peak of 3.03 million or 9.6 percent in the second quarter of next year.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South