When former Prime Minister David Cameron tendered his resignation in June 2016, it prompted a period of significant political transition for Britain. The ensuing leadership contest between several Conservative heavyweights brought into question the longevity of policies that had been introduced under Cameron’s government, as well as the long-term prospects of the UK’s private sector.
Theresa May’s appoint as Prime Minister on 11 July brought some welcome stability to the market, and since then Britain’s economy, in many ways, has responded positively in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. The Office of National Statistics found this week that UK consumer spending rose by 1.4% in July after a 0.9% drop in June. Evidently, consumer confidence is high and the retail industry is benefiting, boosted by the effects of last month’s warm weather.
Furthermore, British SMEs are also proving resilient in the aftermath of the Brexit announcement, displaying a clear determination to pursue their growth plans regardless of the nation’s status within the EU. The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) revealed that there has been a surge in SME funding enquiries in the weeks following the Brexit announcement; since the start of August, loan enquiries have exceeded £20 million.
Consumer and business confidence is demonstrably healthy, illustrating the resilience of the British economy. Most importantly, as we move forward in this important, transitional period in the country’s history, it is vital that Britain’s private sector is adequately supported across the nation. For this reason, it is promising to see Theresa May back previous Chancellor George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse strategy.
At times of political change, it is important that initiatives created by departing personnel are not scrapped unnecessarily, particularly when it affects business growth. The concept of a Northern Powerhouse may still be some way off coming to fruition, but it must be given the chance to succeed through government support – we will explore this further in a blog next week.