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Barclays CEO “very optimistic” about UK economic system

Barclays CEO “very optimistic” about UK economic system 

Barclays CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan mentioned he feels “very optimistic” in regards to the outlook for the UK economic system, regardless of the rising value of dwelling.

Talking to CNBC on the World Financial Discussion board, Venkatakrishnan informed a crowd of buyers and monetary specialists: “I believe the UK shopper is in very first rate form.”

His feedback comply with a report by, which discovered that greater than 9 out of 10 small enterprise house owners within the UK really feel positively about 2024.

In a survey of 546 UK small companies, 92% of respondents mentioned they really feel optimistic about their development prospects for 2024, with 59% reporting excessive ranges of optimism.

Is 2024 the beginning of the roaring twenties?

2023 was a yr to neglect for small companies. Document excessive vitality payments, a painful hiring disaster and skyrocketing inflation mixed to sound a demise knell for companies throughout each trade.

In consequence, Startups’ survey discovered that SMEs nonetheless standing on the finish of 2023 usually tend to say they survived (51%) slightly than thrived (42%) final yr.

Talking on the Davos convention, Venkatakrishnan acknowledged the difficulties, “these pent-up financial savings have been getting eroded”.

Nonetheless, he remained bullish in regards to the probability of financial restoration his yr, including that vitality costs have “calmed down” and predicting that mortgage charges would comply with attributable to market adjustment – each areas that might encourage extra shopper spending.

“Two issues which have hit the pocket guide are coming down, and I’ll say I’m very optimistic in regards to the UK,” he added.

Some sectors happier than others

The enterprise outlook for 2024 differs relying on the sector, nonetheless. Startups’ survey confirmed that, whereas 68% of corporations in finance and tech are extremely optimistic, 20% of these in leisure, hospitality, and retail are pessimistic.

Labour shortages and decreased shopper spending helped to worsen an already catastrophic hospitality disaster final yr.

Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure (RHL) aid, a reduction scheme for store, bar, and restaurant enterprise charges, was lately prolonged within the Autumn Assertion.

Many will cling to this meagre life ring in 2024. Startups lately reported that 19% of hospitality firms are unable to boost pay this yr. Massive-name employers, comparable to Brewdog, have already confronted criticism for not elevating wages to the brand new Actual Residing Wage bracket.

New startups most assured

In additional excellent news for the UK’s financial outlook, the companies that had been almost definitely to precise constructive sentiments in regards to the future had been these based previously two years.

74% of these based previously yr are optimistic about 2024, versus simply 47% of firms that launched in 2019, a yr marred by the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s simple to think about a downturn as all doom-and-gloom. However usually, shortage can breed readability. Loads of profitable firms have been based throughout a recession together with unicorns Airbnb and Uber.

That almost three out of 4 startups really feel prepared for scale-up this yr is an effective omen for the UK’s financial restoration in 2024.

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