It’s the economy, stupid
When scanning the news, reports of economic hardship are almost unavoidable as the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis continues to materialise.
Just this week, it was reported that one in three UK employers expect to make staff redundant between July and September, according to new research from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). In addition, the UK has plunged into it first official recession in 11 years, with the economy shrinking by 20.4% between April and June.
However, in times of hardship, it is important to focus on the significant steps being taken to help support all sectors, to celebrate the solidarity that arises from dealing with such a wide-reaching crisis, and to stay positive in acknowledging the industries that are beginning to recover.
In particular, parts of the economy that have increasingly utilised technology, including financial services, continue to adapt and flourish. With the rise of more flexible operational models being applied to traditional platforms including in the wealth management and investment space, new opportunities are emerging, allowing for a more optimistic outlook on the future.
It was also encouraging to see that UK markets climbed higher on Wednesday than initially predicted, with the FTSE 100 index of British blue-chip companies rising 0.7 per cent, outpacing our European peers and exceeding the pessimistic forecasts.
However, other sectors have also been playing their part in reviving our economy, in particular those with the support of recently introduced government initiatives.
Property market boom
The property sector continues to recover as the market gradually reopens. Undoubtedly, the government’s Stamp Duty discounts have helped boost sales, encouraging more reluctant buyers to join the property ladder and injecting some much needed funds into the economy.
One indication of increased buyer demand is that house prices continue to rise, reaching an average price of £241,604 in July and rising by 1.7% since June. While the Stamp Duty suspension is only temporary, it is a positive start towards re-invigorating a vital part of our economic landscape and is hopefully an indication that certain sectors have the potential to slowly improve.
Life returning to the High Street
In other good news for our economy, Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme has breathed new life into the High Street, offering government subsidised meals to help boost trade for the hospitality sector.
According to HMRC, it has received more than 10.5 million claims since the scheme was launched last week. In addition, popular restaurant booking website Opentable found that the number of consumers making registrations was 10% higher on the 3rd August compared to the same day this time last year.
The popularity of the dining initiative goes to show that the initial camaraderie of lockdown has not been lost. Let it be hoped that further schemes will be introduced to benefit both British businesses and consumers alike, aiding the stability of our economy overall.