British industries growing faster than global average
ALMOST every industry in Britain is growing faster than its competitors around the world, further raising hopes of a “V-shaped” recovery as the economy gets back to work.
The UK is well ahead of the global average in terms of returning to growth, according to a Lloyds Bank analysis of IHS Markit’s business surveys across different countries.
Twelve of the 14 industries tracked showed growth above the global benchmark, the bank said, led by metals and mining, and by chemicals. Beverages and food also expanded rapidly last month, as did software services.
By contrast technology equipment struggled, as did the embattled tourism and recreation industry.
The majority of businesses have stopped reporting falls in output caused by Covid, with a particularly sharp turnaround in the construction sector.
While almost one-quarter mentioned furloughing staff, and the same share discussed redundancies, the number rehiring workers has picked up from 1pc back in April to 14pc last month, raising hopes of a rebound.
Meanwhile a NatWest study of small businesses found that more than onethird of SMEs reported growth in July, up from below one-in-10 at the height of the lockdown.
At the same time the number shrinking is down from more than threequarters in April to below three-in-10 now.
However this is a touch slower than the recovery among bigger companies. “It’s welcome news that, like the economy overall, small businesses sentiment and activity improved sharply in July,” said Stephen Blackman, principal economist at NatWest.
“We shouldn’t read too much into their slight relative underperformance. It’s likely a sectoral story … small businesses tend to cluster within services and construction, sectors that recovered slightly slower than manufacturing. The gap should narrow, especially for construction, and may have already done so.”
It comes after the economy grew by more than 8pc in June even before major chunks of industries such as hospitality were allowed to reopen.