UK GDP revised upwards in second quarter of the year

ended 29. September 2021

On Thursday morning, the Office for National Statistics published revised data for the second quarter.

UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 5.5% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2021, revised from the first estimate of a 4.8% increase.

Below are the reactions of a selection of small businesses:

13 responses from the Newspage community

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Amit Shah
Founder at Teddo Play
"The uncertainty in the economy right now is palpable. Businesses want to improve and are desperately trying to get back on track, but are being hampered by rising inflation, supply chain issues, the fuel crisis and the possibility of interest rates going up. It's probably time to put 2021 to bed and just keep our fingers crossed for a better 2022."
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"Business always ebbs and flows but tax hikes from the Government coupled with supply challenges are battering the confidence of small business owners, not encouraging their agility and entrepreneurial spirit."
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"Over the past few months, business has been hard. Footfall and sales in our physical store have dropped to levels not seen since the recession, and online sales are now the lowest we have seen since we set up our online shop 16 months ago. I would like to hope that the economy will improve as we head towards Christmas, but I am not fully certain this will be the case. Shoppers do not seemed geared up to spend money, and with fear of shortages over Christmas they seem to have already resigned themselves to the fact that they'll be spending less. We have also been hit hard with supply chain issues, and huge price increases which we have no choice but to pass on."
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"For every step it takes forward, our retail sector is being knocked three steps back, and this is happening at the exact same time Government support is diminishing. It is vital for high streets that they have a good Christmas if they are still going to be there next year. The ability for local businesses to survive this year is now in the hands of local people. Where you spend in the final months of this year will determine the shape of the high street you have in 2022."
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"Business has been booming for myself and the wider wedding industry over the past couple of months and there has never been so much demand for my services. 2022 is looking extremely strong and there’s a constant stream of new enquires coming in for 2023. The corporate events sector is also heating up, as businesses start to plan their festive celebrations. This, coupled with the backlog of rescheduled weddings from 2020, fills me with confidence going into the final quarter of the year."
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"As an e-commerce firm, business for us was booming during lockdown. But since lockdown restrictions have lifted our business has taken a massive hit and we have had to struggle to keep all our staff in a job. There is no Government help available to companies like mine as we only launched one week before the pandemic. What I have noticed is that people are Christmas shopping a lot earlier this year, so much so that we released our Christmas range in August. I really hope that the economy can flourish again one day. At the moment there is a lot of uncertainty and barely any help to keep businesses afloat. As a business owner myself I pay my staff before myself and for 4 months I went without a wage to keep my staff and business going. Fingers crossed for a much improved 2022, as this year has been extremely tough."
"The mortgage sector has never been busier. A little over twelve months ago the bottom fell out of my business but it gave me the wake-up call I needed to change how I market the business. ‘Traditional’ marketing in my sector like networking and referrals had to make way for the digital marketing. Those that don’t move with the times will get left behind."
Business has certainly slowed from the manic months of the first step-down in the Stamp Duty holiday. It's still busy, just not in the same frantic way as previously - more time is being spent managing people through problems like down-valuations, which I've certainly see increased cases of recently. For mortgages it's always a split decision in the run up to Christmas; is it going to be really busy with people rushing to buy and move ready for the Santa's arrival? Or, will we see an early slow down as thoughts turn to parties and presents? I've always worked on the basis that when the Christmas lights switch on, house buyers switch off - so if the predicted early push by retailers to get people Christmas shopping occurs, it could be a quiet year end in mortgage world. The economy seems to be handling the end of furlough and the projected inflation numbers well currently, as these have been talked about for some time and are generally economic news topics that gain little traction with the wider public, unless they are being very directly impacted. The recent issues with supply chains is more of a concern, with potentially more panic buying being induced. The current fuel issue, is a stark reminder of how quickly the public can turn everything on its head, when the wrong buttons are pushed.
2021 continues to be the year of surprises and predictions the market would stall after June have been way off the mark. September has been exceptionally busy and if anything the market is hotting up despite the end of the latest stamp duty holiday. It is hard to see the market slowing down in the run-up to Christmas with such cheap mortgages.
There's no doubt that the arms of the current economy are tightly wrapped around everyone in business at the moment, and it's suffocating,. The culmination of rising inflation, employment and supply chain issues is making it increasingly difficult to predict what happens next or which part small business owners should concentrate on first to try and invigorate their business. I still feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and running a small business will remain a huge challenge, we're certainly not out of the woods just yet.
Because of the perception in the general public that the economy is precarious and the atmospher of general uncertainty, I'm finding it impossible to recruit to my courses. This means that my therapy centre is also in a precarious position and I'm not looking forwards to the next quarter at all.
Since the first lockdown my business has skyrocketed. The final quarter of the year look as though this trend will continue. I would sincerely hope, if no further unnecessary social panics are created, that the economy will hold its own into 2022. We may not have all the good on the shelves we're used to, but I'm positive we'll all be able to have amazing festivities with what is available.
"The current time is a test of resilience for the economy, and I think the key for businesses is to stay agile, relevant and ahead of market forces. My hope is that other business leaders will have used the pandemic to strengthen their companies. If so, I am hopeful that UK industry is as strong as ever and will therefore have the resilience to ride out new challenges such as the labour shortages and supply chain issues.On that basis, I'm excited by the opportunities that the next quarter will bring and that the economy will improve further between now and Christmas. "While repeated lockdowns hit our monthly revenues by over 50%, August was the best month of trading in our entire 5-year history. I believe that economic events such as the Coronavirus pandemic create a market of smarter buyers. And that these smarter buyers help to create more opportunities than any economic event can take away. We saw this coming out of the 2009 recession."