13 Sep 2023
Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the UK economy shrank more than experts had expected in July as a result of strike action and wet weather.
Bad weather adversely affected the retail and construction sectors, which caused the economy to contract by 0.5%.
However, the ONS stated that the broader outlook for the UK economy looks 'more positive'. Its data showed that GDP grew by 0.2% in the three months to July 2023, and that sporting events and a rising number of theme park visits helped to provide a minor boost to the economy.
Responding to the data, David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 'Today's figures showing GDP grew by 0.2% in the three months to July, with a 0.5% decline in July itself, underlines the precarious state of the economy.
'Small and medium-sized businesses continue to battle against stubbornly high inflation, rising interest rates, trade barriers with the EU, higher taxes, and an uncertain labour market.
'Businesses need to see a clear framework from politicians, outlining how long-term investment can be unlocked, and economic growth accelerated.'