It’s the final quarter of 2023, the words challenging, and uncertainty remain. UK businesses will be pondering if the UK is in a better place than this time last year. There have been some false dawns during 2023 and although we avoided a recession, growth has been stagnant and whilst inflation has fallen from double-digit levels a year ago to 6.7%, it’s proven stubborn in its descent and remains above the UK’s 2% target.
The latest GDP figures reveal the UK economy shrank by 0.6% in July but rebounded to grow by 0.2% in August. Looking at the broader picture, GDP grew by 0.3% in the 3 months to August with growth in all sectors. The services industry at 0.4% was the main contributor to GDP Growth.
Slowing food inflation was offset by rising fuel prices but it is predicted to continue its downward trajectory with near normal levels expected towards the end of 2024. Earning power increased ahead of inflation giving households a more positive feeling. However, rising interest rates combined with some fixed rate mortgages coming to an end is creating significant pressure on household cashflow. For businesses borrowing money, is more expensive but necessary if owners and managers are to continue investing in growth. My view is that interest rates have peaked but I don’t expect them to come down any time soon.
The headline unemployment rate rose by 0.5% to 4.3% during May to July and although still at historic low levels it has reached a two year high. Some experts predict we are in a soft recession whilst others are more positive. The ONS suggests the broader picture for the UK looks more positive with figures showing output across the services, production and construction sectors grew by 0.2% in the three months to July. I suspect the Treasury’s main aim in the Autumn Statement will be to address the UK’s business investment appetite which needs to increase if we are to keep our growth in line with other major G7 economies.
Committed to UK Business Pulse Cashflow are keen to support business investment and have over the last 12 months stepped up our response and commitment to UK Businesses with the support of our Parent – Cubitt Trade Holdings. Cubitt are a global provider of end-to-end working capital and supply chain solutions and have created a unique structure which facilitates the movement, storage and distribution of goods, and the funding of each transaction along the supply chain. Their scalable financing structure provides Pulse Cashflow with a unique ability to take advantage of the large and growing funding gap for SME trade finance assets in the UK. We can now actively support SMEs and large corporates - both exporters and importers - across every industry sector and trade. Tailored, Scalable Growth Capital Our aim is to make business finance smarter and simpler, and our dedication to better serve the business community. We believe that delivering peace of mind to a business owner is an important part of financial growth and stability.
As a result, over the last 12 months, we have softly launched our new Strategic Finance proposition to complement our existing invoice finance portfolio. It’s been designed to provide businesses with tailored scalable growth capital to promote investment to increase business value. Each deal is structured to fit each client’s need to enable growth and enterprise value creation. Our guiding principles are simply based on the fundamentals of creditworthiness and trust-based partnerships, and we believe strongly in collaborative and personalised support. It’s an exciting proposition and we are looking forward to supporting more businesses than ever before.