Asset Finance And Leasing Grows As The UK Economy Exceeds 2008 Peak

A recent report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has indicated that the economy will grow by 2.9 percent in 2014 and 2.4 percent in 2015 and on current plans the public sector finances will be in surplus by 2019.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 0.9 percent between March – May 2014 , which means that output was 0.2 percent higher at the end of last month than it was when the recession hit in 2008, when output fell by 7.2 percent in a year.

Experts at NIERS have hailed this – 6 years on – as a ‘symbolic milestone’ for the UK. This means that GDP will exceed its previous peak in 2008 in the next few months, although per capita GDP still remains well below its previous peak, and will not exceed it before 2017.

The Bank of England is now also predicting growth of 3.4 percent this year and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also reported that British manufacturing is growing at its fastest rate for 4 years.

At the same time, concerns about productivity levels persist and the UK’s trade performance remains disappointing, with the current account deficit running at about 4 per cent of GDP, on average, over the period 2012–14, although improving subsequently as the global economy continues to strengthen.

The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has also reported that asset finance new business grew by 17% in March compared with the same month last year and was 13% higher in the first quarter of 2014 than in Q1 2013.

Lease finance for plant and machinery and business equipment saw the strongest growth in Q1 2014, up by 21% and 20% respectively, while IT equipment finance was 11% higher than in Q1 2013.

Commenting, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said:

“In Q1 2014, the asset finance industry returned its best first quarter performance for five years, and the pattern of growth suggests a broad-based recovery in business investment.

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