Comment from Economist: UK suffers record financial slump

Following the news that the UK economy suffered a record annual slump in 2020, Markus Kuger, Chief Economist at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “Analysis from our COVID-19 Impact Index has shown the widespread disruption of the pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns on businesses across the country, so the latest figures on the UK economy suffering its biggest slump in 300 years is not surprising. Although the last-minute Brexit deal offered some welcome clarity for businesses, Dun & Bradstreet continues to maintain a ‘deteriorating’ outlook for the UK. Our data shows a concerning rise in late payments, and although our data shows a fall in corporate liquidations, it’s likely that business failures will increase once companies start to pay back government loans and support schemes like CBILS due to close to new applications in early 2021.

“While the government continues to provide support, our trade payment performance data has shown the percentage of UK businesses paying bills on time is down from 47.3% in March to 41.8% in December 2020. There is however, light at the end of the tunnel with the recent ONS results showing growth of 1.2% in December – indicating that the ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery are beginning to become evident as we move into the Spring.”