UK economy growth ‘positive’ step for hospitality

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Climbing back: Challenges remain despite 'positive' GDP growth (Credit: Getty/ simoncarter)
Climbing back: Challenges remain despite 'positive' GDP growth (Credit: Getty/ simoncarter)

Related tags ukhospitality British institute of innkeeping Finance

The UK economy grew 0.5% in June, which trade bodies have celebrated as “positive” for the pub sector while also warning of ongoing challenges.

The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed the economy expanded by 0.2% between April and June,

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said any signs of economic growth are positive for the industry in many ways, including through boosting consumer confidence, therefore leading to higher spend.

She said that the hospitality sector is uniquely positioned to contribute significantly to the UK economy via job creation and investment in local communities.

“We would therefore urge the Government to work closely with us to ensure businesses in the industry have the support they need in order to achieve this,” she added.

Vital role

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) chief executive Steve Alton said there’s “no doubt” about the role pubs and hospitality businesses currently play at the heart of economic growth across the UK.

However, while it was encouraging to see the 0.5% jump in the economy, he said the pressures facing BII members are heavily impacting their profitability as they continue to “feel the pain” from high inflation, staff shortages, the energy crisis and increasing interest rates.

While June’s growth was better than predicted, the UK remains the only country out of the G7 nations not to see its gross domestic product (GDP) return to pre-pandemic levels, based on the latest quarterly figures.

Need for action

Alton continued: “We greatly welcome the Prime Minister’s continued recognition of the value of great British pubs, but without real investment in our sector, this future growth will not be sustainable, reinforcing the need for Government to act and reduce the burden to overall taxations.

“A specific cut for our industry to VAT and confirmation of the extension of business rates relief for the next three years will allow pubs and hospitality businesses to be at the heart of economic growth in the short term, but will also allow them the time to plan for their return to profitability in the long term.

“We must do all we can to protect these essential businesses at the heart of their communities, not only to safeguard the tax revenues they provide to the Treasury, but also to allow them to continue to support local supply chains and local employment.”

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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