Industry reaction from Tommaso Aquilante

Following today’s news that the UK economic growth has slowed down sharply in February, Tommaso Aquilante, UK Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet said: “The slowdown of economic growth in February shows a mixed picture. For example, GPD in services increased by 0.2%, while GPD in manufacturing and construction decreased by 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively. However, with UK consumer confidence falling to its lowest level since November 2020 and inflation historically high, March’s growth numbers are expected to have deteriorated further.

“Although pricing pressure was already building before the Ukraine-Russia war, the situation has significantly aggravated it. According to Dun & Bradstreet statistics, at least 374,000 enterprises globally depend on Russian suppliers, while at least 241,000 rely on Ukrainian suppliers. And though the UK is less dependent on the Russian energy trade than some of its European counterparts, nonetheless, it remains to be having a knock-on impact on UK businesses.

“Earlier this year, the UK economy seemed to be heading in a better direction. However, the economic picture has rapidly worsened since February, putting further strain on already Covid-19 and Brexit weakened supply systems. In this environment, it is of utmost importance for businesses to maintain a comprehensive understanding of their current supply networks, not least using supply chain data, which can help reduce businesses’ dependency on certain suppliers and uncover weaknesses in their procurement processes. This will strengthen their contingency planning to assure survival during turbulent times. Businesses that trade internationally or depend on suppliers who operate in overseas markets may need to take steps to preserve continuity or protect themselves against currency volatility; markets and business partners included.”