ANALYST VIEWS: IS THE UK ECONOMY PICKING UP AGAIN?

GEORGE BUCKLEY | DEUTSCHE BANK

Today’s news was generally stronger than expected. Retail sales grew faster than expected, broad money was up, the Budget deficit fell and the CBI’s manufacturing survey was encouraging. This should be positive for GDP.

DAVID KERN | BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

There is no room for complacency. The economy is still weak, businesses are struggling, and the full impact of the emergency Budget’s austerity measures are yet to take effect. Risks of an economic setback are significant.

ANDREW GOODWIN | ERNST & YOUNG ITEM CLUB

The combination of weak earnings growth and high inflation is squeezing real incomes, while unemployment is likely to remain high with the public sector job cuts on the way. The outlook for consumers remains challenging.