One piece of news that is sure to be welcomed by all of those offering such services as business card printing in the UK is the confirmation of economic growth of 3.1 per cent over the last 12 months that has led the country past its pre-recession peak. Even better news is that 2014 should see the UK grow faster than any other major economy in Europe.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published preliminary second quarter GDP figures indicating that the UK economy grew by 0.8 per cent from April to June, meaning that it is now 0.2 per cent bigger than it was in the first quarter of 2008 – the previous peak. The slowdown saw a 7.2 per cent drop in the size of the economy from peak to trough in 2009.
Not only has the UK economy grown by 3.1 per cent over the last year, but the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) growth forecast for the country has also been upgraded by 0.4 per cent in 2014 to 3.2 per cent, as well as by 0.2 per cent in 2015 to 2.7 per cent. No other major western economy has been given such large upgrades in its forecasts for both years.
All of this has certainly been good news for the print sector, which British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) chief executive Kathy Woodward claims to have become “more buoyant”. She added, however, that the retail sector was still “quite challenging” amid continued tight margins.
She added: “Overall there is a degree of optimism that has not been seen since pre-recession days. We are seeing significant numbers of members looking to invest in systems and equipment to support their businesses in what they perceive as being a buoyant marketplace.”
However, while the recovery has boosted confidence among firms offering business card printing in the UK such as PrintUK.com, the second quarter actually saw contraction in the construction and agriculture sectors, of 0.5 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. The strongest growth of 1 per cent was seen in the service sector, with production – at 0.4 per cent – in second place.
The UK was “in the fast lane of recovery”, according to Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne tweeted: “Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our #LongTermEconomicPlan.”