Economic commentary

Quarterly Bulletin 1976 Q1
Published on 01 March 1976

As in earlier issues of the Bulletin, the economic commentary analyses the recent past as a basis for assessing short-term prospects. There are now clearer signs that the low point of the recession has been passed in the United Kingdom, so attention is focused on the form which recovery is likely to take. It is suggested on page 5 and in the concluding assessment that the outlook for UK exports is quite favourable. But investment remains a matter for concern: last year, the volume of capital spending fell more sharply than in any other post-war year, and recovery from this very low base cannot be expected until demand and, equally, profitability improve. Neither personal nor public consumption are likely to increase very much in the short term; but a change in stocks could continue to provide some stimulus to output for a time. In the section on costs and prices, it is noted that the present £6 limit continues to be well observed; but even though the rise in retail prices later this year may be close to the Chancellor's target, inflation nevertheless remains a very serious problem.

PDFEconomic commentary


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