UK economy to tighten in 2023

Published December 5th, 2022 - 05:01 GMT
UK economy tightens
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London: Britain's economy is on course to shrink 0.4% next year as inflation remains high and companies put investment on hold, with gloomy implications for longer-term growth, the Confederation of Business Industry forecast on Monday.



"Britain is in stagflation, with rocketing inflation, negative growth, falling productivity and business investment. Firms see potential growth opportunities, but headwinds are causing them to pause investing in 2023," CBI Director-General Tony Danker said, Reuters reported.



The CBI's forecast marks a sharp downgrade from its last forecast in June, when it predicted growth of 1.0% for 2023, and it does not expect gross domestic product (GDP) to return to its pre-COVID level until mid-2024.



Britain has been hit hard by a surge in natural gas prices, as well as an incomplete labor market recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and persistently weak investment and productivity.



Unemployment would rise to peak at 5.0% in late 2023 and early 2024, up from 3.6% currently, the CBI said.


British inflation hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, sharply squeezing consumer demand, and the CBI predicts it will be slow to fall, averaging 6.7% next year and 2.9% in 2024.



The CBI's GDP forecast is less gloomy than that of the British government's Office for Budget Responsibility - which last month forecast a 1.4% decline for 2023.



But the CBI forecast is in line with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which expects Britain to be Europe's weakest performing economy bar Russia next year.



The CBI forecast business investment at the end of 2024 will be 9% below its pre-pandemic level, and output per worker 2% lower.



To avoid this, the CBI called on the government to make Britain's post-Brexit work visa system more flexible, end what it sees as an effective ban on constructing onshore wind turbines and give greater tax incentives for investment.



"We will see a lost decade of growth if action isn't taken. GDP is a simple multiplier of two factors: people and their productivity. But we don't have people we need, nor the productivity," Danker said.

 


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