Long-Term Approach Needed to Boost Business Investment, Says ACCA Following Spring Budget

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Key Takeaways:

  • Accounting professionals in the UK are cautiously optimistic about the economic impact of the government’s Spring budget.
  • Only 36% of accounting professionals felt that the budget measures would have a positive impact on the economy, while 39% felt that it would not make a difference, and 25% felt that it would have a negative impact.
  • While there is some optimism, businesses remain cautious about investment and hiring intentions.

Spring Brings Cautious Optimism for UK Accountants

After months of economic turmoil, a measure of confidence is returning to the UK economy, according to a recent poll conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The survey, which was completed by 145 accounting professionals working across various sectors of the economy, found that there is cautious optimism about the economic impact of the government’s Spring budget compared to the Autumn Statement in late 2022.

Despite this cautious optimism, the poll shows that businesses remain cautious about investment and hiring intentions. While 36% of respondents felt that the measures announced in the budget would have a positive impact on the UK economy, nearly four in ten (39%) felt that the budget would not make a difference, and around a quarter (25%) felt that the impact would be negative.

Optimism Fragile and Untranslated into Firmer Investment or Hiring Intentions

The ACCA survey highlights the fragility of optimism and the fact that it has not yet translated into firmer investment or hiring intentions. The majority of respondents (71%) said that the budget had no impact on their recruitment plans, with only 3% more likely to recruit as a result. Similarly, the budget measures had limited impact on investment plans for almost two-thirds (68%) of respondents, though 11% were more likely to invest.

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While there is some cautious optimism, it is clear that businesses are still exceptionally cautious about investment and hiring intentions. Glenn Collins, UK head of technical and strategic engagement at the ACCA, said, “It’s clear that individual announcements won’t be enough to restore business confidence – a long-term approach to boosting business investment is needed.”

The Need for a Laser Focus on Tackling Tough Trading Conditions

The ACCA survey shows that the cost-of-living crisis, high inflation, and interest rates are hitting consumers’ pockets hard. With trading conditions still exceptionally tough, the government needs to focus on tackling these challenges to boost business investment and restore business confidence in the long term.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the Spring budget has brought some cautious optimism for accounting professionals in the UK, businesses remain cautious about investment and hiring intentions. The government needs to take a long-term approach to boost business investment and tackle the tough trading conditions that are affecting the economy.


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