Early indicators suggest that the UK economy is starting to show signs of recovery and looks to have avoided a double-dip recession.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research have estimated that Britain’s economy grew by 0.1% in the three months up to February.
This is a much better outlook than the previous report, which showed that the British economy contracted by 0.2% in the three months up to January this year.
In terms of trade, Britain has seen a recent improvement in exports. After the recession, exports from the UK were down – driven partly by a weakened demand from other countries.
But that has started to change, and British exports to China are growing at a rate of 20% per year. Net trade also made a positive contribution to GDP in the fourth quarter of last year – driven by a growth in exports and a decline in imports.
Manufacturing is another area helping to pull the British economy back to its feet. Manufacturing output was found to have increased by 0.1% in January this year.
While this is less of an improvement than was hoped for, indications suggest it will continue to grow for the rest of the quarter. The fall in inflation will help the sector, as manufacturers will be paying less for raw materials.
A slower rate of inflation has also helped the retail industry, which had an unexpectedly strong Christmas period. Inflation now stands at 3.4% – a positive sign for the year ahead.
The UK retail industry may have benefitted from a positive period of spending over Christmas, but this doesn’t mean that savvy British shoppers will stop looking for new ways to gain value on the high street. Prepaid cards are becoming increasingly popular.
An innovative new addition to the prepaid credit card market may offer exactly that. The new Pockit prepaid card, a unique MasterCard which was launched this month, may be able to help shoppers get the most from their spending.
Danny Jatania, CEO of Pockit, explains the benefits of the new card:
“Everyone wants the best value out of their shopping now, not just people on a budget. While prepaid cards are useful to keep a lid on overspending, consumers from all sorts of backgrounds are using them.”
The new Pockit Prepaid MasterCard offers savings on purchases from partners including Marks & Spencer, Talk Talk and Aviva.
The card is available on a pay-as-you-go or monthly contract basis. The pay-as-you-go option has a one off-fee of £5 and 45p for each additional transaction. The monthly contract will cost you £3 per month.