Emergence from recession welcomed by town business leaders

John Megson and (pictured below) Colin Griffiths
John Megson and (pictured below) Colin Griffiths

BUSINESS leaders have welcomed Britain’s emergence from recession as good news – but warned it’s only the start of the battle to help areas including Hartlepool.

Town figures reacted after preliminary data from the Office of National Statistics showed that the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) figure had increased by one per cent in the third quarter.

Colin Griffiths pictured with cosultant Heather Smiles.

Colin Griffiths pictured with cosultant Heather Smiles.

But it’s not the end of a long battle, it is the start, says town business consultant Colin Griffiths.

He said the national picture seems to have been affected by the effects of the Olympics. But they will have been mainly felt in the south and not areas such as Hartlepool.

Mr Griffiths added: “It is sad that we are not doing that well and that is not being highlighted.

“Talking to my clients, the building trade is picking up, but it is nothing substantial.

“The green shoots of recovery are there, but there is nothing on the manufacturing side.”

He said the long-term solution was to start getting the major businesses to spend money.

John Megson, the co-ordinator of the Hartlepool Business Forum, said: “The one per cent increase takes us out of double dip recession and that has to be positive news. Hopefully this is not a false dawn.

“One quarter does not represent total movement from recession to positive figures, but there are a lot of indications which suggest that it could be the start of a positive move forward.”

Nationally, the Confederation of British Industry director-general John Cridland, said: “It’s really encouraging news that growth has snapped back so strongly in the third quarter. Although the Olympics and Jubilee have made up the majority of that growth, these numbers do also seem to point to some acceleration in underlying momentum.

“We expect conditions to remain positive going into the fourth quarter, reflecting some easing of the pressure on household budgets from lower inflation. But the global economic environment remains challenging.”

The economy had been in recession for the previous nine months and has still to get back to output levels last seen more than four years ago.