Businesses and households across the country may feel their finances are being squeezed as inflation climbs. However, with GDP increasing so far this year, albeit fairly marginally, there are still positive signs of growth and this should fuel optimism in the longer term.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), inflation increased to 2.7% in August, equal to the figure in May this year, a five year high. At the same time, the ONS reports that GDP increased by 0.3% between Q1 and Q2 2017.
While we understand that inflation is a concern, we believe the fact that we are still achieving GDP growth, following the turbulent events of the past year, is a cause of optimism and shows the strength of UK SMEs, the engine room of the economy.
As we look towards 2018, we need SMEs to feel confident about their business growth plans in the longer term.
In order to do this, the Government must do everything it can to increase political and economic certainty and create a positive environment that cultivates business growth.
As a specialist bank we also have a role to play in ensuring the businesses in our chosen sectors have access to the finance they need to make the most of future opportunities.