Responding to the latest GDP figures, which show economic growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter of this year, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Today’s figures show that this is no time for complacency. It’s just one quarter, but the slowdown in growth emphasises the importance of maintaining confidence amongst businesses and consumers over the next couple of years as our political leaders haggle with the EU over the terms of the Brexit deal. The next Government can help to prevent a collapse in confidence by making it clear they are pursuing an orderly exit, where we transition as smoothly as possible from EU membership to a new trading arrangement.
“The Brexit negotiations, as time-consuming as they will be, cannot be an excuse to take our eye off the ball on the many factors affecting the UK’s long-term economic competitiveness. After the election, companies expect the next government to quickly get to work on improving transport and broadband infrastructure, and making sure our tax and regulatory systems are fit to cope with the growth of the digital economy and the effect it is having on business models and the world of work.”
Lee Petts, IoD Lancashire Chairman and managing director of Preston-based Remsol, added: “Lancashire’s economy has shown welcome signs of improvement in recent years, due in no small part to initiatives like Boost and the creation of a unifying ‘Lancashire narrative’ led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Marketing Lancashire.
“We must all hold our nerve and ensure that issues like Brexit and the upcoming snap election aren’t allowed to distract us from the business of growing a successful and thriving economy here in the county.”