Publication of GDP figures

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The UK200Group of independent accountancy and lawyer firms has commented on GDP figures from the ONS – finally released after a delay of almost two weeks due to concerns over their reliability – showing that while the UK economy grew by 0.3% from January to March, as expected, the recession was deeper than first thought. Figures show the economy contracted by 6.4% between the second quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2009, rather than the 6.2% reported previously.

Will Abbott, partner, Randall & Payne LLP:

“A big problem is a lack of confidence, which in large part is caused by a fear of a double dip.

“Revising figures down, holding back the numbers to check them, all adds to the climate of fear.

“However, a growing economy, no matter how small the growth, is massively better than a contracting one, and, despite all the redundancies, clients are still struggling with a lack of good skilled people to recruit. We can’t grow without skills.”

Jonathan Russell, partner, ReesRussell, and vice-president of UK200Group:

“When you have six consecutive quarters of shrinkage in an economy, it is fairly easy to return to growth because the starting point is so much lower.

“A recession of six quarters is new ground for an economy and therefore one must assume the recovery afterwards may well be different at the sort of recovery levels shown so far we are still talking five or more years to return to the point we had reached before the recession started.

“The recovery is also the first which is so heavily hampered by a shortage of finance within the economy which can only make a recovery more difficult. 

“The mobility of labour, particularly within the EU, has meant that unemployment within the private sector has not been as bad as it might have been because of the huge numbers of migrant workers who have gone home.

“However, when the public sector starts its much needed headcount reduction, many more of these will be of UK origin and hence will be putting pressure on unemployment figures. Growth may well be fragile but hopefully it will be real.”


Established in 1986, UK200Group is the leading mutual professional association in the UK with over 110 UK quality assured independent accountancy firms and lawyer firms, as well as 50 International Associate member firms around the globe. UK200Group provide services and products that are designed to enhance the business performance of its members.  Telephone 01252 401050, email or visit 


UK200Group is an association of separate and independently owned and managed accountancy firms and lawyer firms. UK200Group does not provide client services and it does not accept responsibility or liability for the acts or omissions of its members.  Likewise, the members of UK200Group are separate and independent legal entities, and as such each has no responsibility or liability for the acts or omissions of other members.


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