Economics bulletin 13 April

Date : 13 April 2023

Your overview of economic and policy news with a focus on the food and consumer goods industry. Featuring the latest developments and guidance on the rising cost of living, disruptions to supply chains, the Ukraine crisis, labour shortages, policy developments and adapting to a new relationship with the EU.

The future of UK trade

Last week the Government published the Target Operating Model (TOM), detailing how trade will operate between the UK and the rest of the world. The model is ambitious, and if successful will provide a bio-secure border for the UK whilst supporting business need for a smooth border operation. Attention will need to be paid to its implementation and engagement with UK-based and overseas suppliers.

Businesses are encouraged to provide feedback on the TOM by 19 May via the online portal, by e-mail to [email protected], or by post to Borders Group, Cabinet Office, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ.

Full analysis of the TOM can be found here.

Register for our free webinar here and be the first to hear our analysis of the economy, consumer sentiment and government policy including the Target Operating Model.

UK economic growth flat

The ONS has reported that UK economic activity was flat in February 2023, following a surprising rise of 0.3% in January 2023. Retail sales excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles saw growth of 1.2% in February, the largest rise since October 2022.

The largest contributors to the fall were the services sector (including education and public administration and defence).These sectors have been impacted by industrial action over the period.

GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.1% for the period December 2022 – February 2023.

UK to be weakest economy in G20

The UK is projected to be the worst performing economy in the G20 in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF has slightly upgraded the UK’s growth forecast to -0.3% for 2023, up from -0.6% in its January forecast. It is expected that the UK will now see 1% growth in 2024, below the average of 1.4% for other advanced economies.

Avian flu update

From 18th April, the mandatory housing orders for poultry and captive birds will be lifted in England and Wales. High standards for biosecurity are expected to be maintained. Once hens are permitted to go outside eggs can be re-labelled as free-range.

Birds have been kept under housing orders in England since 7th November 2022, as the UK has seen its largest ever outbreak of avian influenza.

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