Moray Chamber of Commerce’s comment on UK and local GDP for Quarter 1 of 2018

Sarah Medcraf Chamber News

UK GDP figures for the first quarter of 2018 were recently released.   The data shows that UK GDP grew by 0.1%, the slowest growth observed since the fourth quarter of 2012.

As with the figures for Moray’s Q4 GDP which were released last month, the data continues to show construction exacting a downward pull on overall growth.   Services were the largest contributor, but as highlighted by the ONS, the trend suggests that growth in services is weakening, especially in consumer facing industries.

Commenting on the growth figures, Sarah Medcraf, Chief Executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce said:

“It is disappointing to see such low levels of growth in the UK economy overall.   As highlighted by the ONS, the ‘Beast from the East’ likely impacted on certain sectors of the economy, particularly petrol sales within the retail industry.   Areas like construction continued to experience falls in output across all months of the quarter, providing further evidence that the drivers of this slow growth are broader.

“Our recent Quarterly Economic Indicator showed that many sectors of the economy were looking to invest to meet expectations for the future.   In order to do this however, it is critical that government acts to provide both policy certainties, alongside providing infrastructure upgrades in order to keep the UK competitive with the rest of the world.

“The UK, and Scotland within it, needs to return to historical levels of growth to achieve the shared prosperity that all elements of civic society want to see. Business will lead on this, but we need government to push forward on the infrastructure upgrades necessary to see step changes in productivity and foster economic resilience.”