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BIRA comments on the end of UK recession

BIRA has responded to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show the UK has exited recession with the fastest growth in two years.

Figures released last week by the ONS reveal that the economy grew by 0.6% between January and March, officially ending the shallow recession the country entered in the second half of 2023.

BIRA said that while it was good news, independent retailers still faced challenges ahead.

Andrew Goodacre, ceo of BIRA said: “It is always good to see economic growth, especially as we have been calling for a focus on this in recent months. However, while we are technically no longer in recession, for independent retailers it still feels as if they are in one.

“Retail sales are still declining and there is intense competition as large chains use their buying power to discount deeper and for longer periods. The cost of running a business is still too high, especially as businesses are not benefitting from the lower energy price cap for households.

“As we are now seeing growth, and all the experts are predicting inflation will fall further in April’s data, it seems even more remarkable that the Bank of England decided not to reduce interest rates. It is clear that interest rates did not need to rise as high as they have to control inflation, and we would like to see these rates fall now to further boost consumer spending.”


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