IoD: Disappointing economic growth in February suggests the economy is still fragile

Commenting on the monthly GDP figures for February 2024, which showed growth of 0.1%, Dr. Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The economy barely grew in February, which suggests that the economy is still in a fragile state. After a strong start to the year, the consumer-facing parts of the economy – particularly accommodation and food services – took a backward step. Construction was also surprisingly weak, although there were encouraging signs of revival in production and manufacturing output.

“It appears that the UK’s ascent out of the mild technical recession of last year is a relatively shallow one. Although the latest figures suggest that the UK is likely to generate positive economic growth in the first quarter, there are few signs of a strong economic rebound. The assertion that the UK economy has decisively turned the corner, as recently asserted by the Prime Minister, is still yet to find confirmation in the data.

“The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is next due to meet on the 9 May. The weakness of February’s GDP figures will give them food for thought as they seek to determine the future course of UK interest rates. Based on today’s figures, the case for cutting Base Rate sooner rather than later is a relatively strong one.”