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BIRA is cautious following Spring Budget

The association has said the forecast for the future from the Spring Budget announcement looks brighter, but warns that businesses are still in for a rough few months ahead.

BIRA said it hopes that the forecast for the future helps to improve customer confidence and will drive economic growth.

Andrew Goodacre, ceo of BIRA, said: “The chancellor was upbeat about the economiy in that we are likely to avoid a recession and forecast growth is better than expected. We wanted to hear about plans for growth and we were told about new investment zones, increased capital tax allowances for business investment and £200 million in local regeneration.”

BIRA sees these as positive measures but long term are not necessarily addressing the challenges faced by the high street today.

“We were not expecting much from the budget today,” Andrew continued, “and while we are pleased with the focus on growth, many of the big announcements are focused on long term investment.

“We hope that the better economic forecasts, and more people returning to work will improve consumer confidence – often the key driver for high street economic growth. Unfortunately though, there was nothing to ease the fears of indie retailers dealing with the pressures of today.

“The pressures of inflation, high energy costs and energy support set to reduce by 95% in April, and wages set to increase by 9% in April. This budget may improve consumer confidence, but it does little to boost the confidence of businesses on the high streets throughout the UK.”

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