This will probably not surprise anyone greatly that the economy has suffered very badly since the coronavirus crisis broke out, with the Ulster Bank`s chief economist Richard Ramsey commenting that it had suffered its “fastest and deepest decline” ever, which is a very worrying state of affairs.
Lockdown Has Huge Effect On Economy
This is from a survey that the bank conducted in March, with April set to record an even worse set of figures. The lockdown, with everyone but essential workers staying indoors for the vast majority of the day, and the closing of bars, cafes, many shops and other businesses, has inevitably had a huge effect on the economy.
Mr Ramsey was quoted on the BBC News website as saying:
“It is worth pointing out that 80% of the respondents in the Northern Ireland survey replied before the prime minister announced the full UK lockdown on 23 March,” he said.
“The April survey will be the first full month that the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland economies will be under full lockdown conditions.
“Therefore, the pace of contraction will accelerate further to fresh record lows.”
Services Sector Suffering Sharpest Decline
“Significantly, it is the services sector that is enduring the most alarming rates of decline.
“Given what has happened to the local hospitality sector this is perhaps not surprising.”
What Will The Rate Of Recovery Be?
We have seen some comments recently from government figures being very bullish about the economy recovering very quickly once the lockdown is lifted and we certainly have to hope that they are correct in their forecasts.
The important thing for businesses is that they need to be in a healthy enough position to take advantage of this economic surge when it comes, so that they can grow and thrive once the worst of the pandemic passes.
This will not be easy for many businesses as they have overheads to contend with in the intervening period with very little revenue probably coming back in.
If your business is struggling right now and you could use some sound financial advice from an experienced accountant then please get in touch with our offices here in Armagh. We are working normal hours but with no face to face meetings, so we can connect with you over the phone instead.
We have helped many businesses get through very difficult trading periods in the past so if you need our help give us a call on 028 3752 2909, for a free initial consultation.