Pubs fear recession is on the horizon as economy contracts 0.3%

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

UK economy contracted 0.3% in April: pubs fear they are already seeing a recession (Credit: Getty/georgeclerk)
UK economy contracted 0.3% in April: pubs fear they are already seeing a recession (Credit: Getty/georgeclerk)

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The UK economy contracted by 0.3% in April, statistics from Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed earlier this week as some pubs feared they were already seeing a recession.

According to ONS, each main sector of the economy contributed to the contraction for the first time since January 2021, after a 0.1% GDP decline in March and no growth in February.

Licensee of the Dog at Wingham, Canterbury, Marc Bridgen said: [This is] just one statistic that supports the world we're living in right now, the economy is contracting, because everything's struggling with the huge inflationary pressures we're seeing, which can be in fuels, food products, human resources.

Negative growth 

“Three negative growth months in a row is how you [get into a] recession, many pubs might already think they're seeing a recession.

“We’re the quietest we’ve been in a very long time, but it's very hit or miss. We've just had one of the best Sundays in a long time, a really tremendous Sunday, great trade on food, particularly on drinks and the [rest of] this week it's looking very strong.

“But the problem is, we're going from being consistently busy, negative growth is just an indicator of what's going on with the general economy.”

Services fell by 0.3% in April and was the main contributor to the decline according to ONS as production and construction fell by 0.6% and 0.4% respectively, however consumer facing services saw growth of 2.6%.

Challenging times 

This comes as food​ costs continue to rise while fuel and energy prices have rocketed consistently in recent weeks on top of the sector seeing 83​% more job vacancies compared with 2019, according to UKHospitality.

Furthermore, Night-Time Association Industries Association (NTIA) CEO​ Michael Kill last week stated the sector was “extremely fragile” as operating costs become “untenable”.

Bridgen added: “It's quite easy to see where the industry is, we're heading into very challenging times.

“It's pretty tough times when you balance out the peaks and the troughs at the moment, we're looking at a prolonged period where we'd be pleased with a break even run.”

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