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Comment on ONS figures from Begbies Traynor

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, revealing that the UK economy shrunk more than was previously estimated – by 0.4 per cent rather than 0.3 per cent- is unwelcome news but no surprise, according to business recovery and restructuring specialist, Begbies Traynor.

Julie Palmer, a partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “The latest figures are further proof that we are still feeling the economic after-shocks of the seismic events of 2008, although it’s important that we keep their scale in perspective.”

She added: “One of the main triggers for the ONS’s revision was the steep decline in the construction industry. The warning signs were certainly there in our latest quarterly business distress survey, Red Flag Alert, published in April. The survey revealed a massive 104 per cent rise in the number of UK construction companies suffering financial distress in the first quarter of 2012 as the sector reeled from the blow dealt by the public spending cuts.”

Palmer concluded: “While there is some cause for optimism in terms of increasing employment, and the prospect of better economic growth next year prompted by the latest measures announced by the Bank of England and the Treasury, we expect the next quarter’s figures to reflect further bad news for construction as the effects of government cuts continue to bite.”

Julie Palmer

About the author

Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner

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Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.

Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and the None Administrative Receivers Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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Insolvency Practitioners Association Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales R3: Association of Business Recovery Professionals ICAEW Business Advice Service Turnaround Management Association ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) ICAS | The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland