The hospitality sector is responding to the UK’s recovery from recession

It comes after data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the UK had emerged from recession following a slump at the end of last year.

According to the ONS, the economy grew by 0.6% between January and March this year, the fastest pace in two years.

UKHospitality (UKH) chief executive Kate Nicholls said the news was a sign of “light at the end of a long tunnel” and added that the figures would hopefully “boost consumer confidence and improve the situation for hospitality businesses.” -gastronomic.

Furthermore, Nicholls insisted that the numbers should “clarify” the importance of hospitality, travel and tourism as an export, adding that this was the “biggest single positive change” in the data.

She continued: “Harnessing the potential of hospitality, tourism and travel, both at home and abroad, can truly realize the country’s economic ambitions, so it is vital that the Government recognizes the strategic importance of our sector.

Dark clouds

“All this can give businesses the confidence and financial freedom they need to invest in their businesses, which will drive economic growth, create jobs and encourage the regeneration of our cities.

“However, hospitality industry GDP remained flat in the first quarter, reflecting the cost challenges the sector continues to face.

“We need to rebalance and reduce the cost burden on the sector so that businesses can invest in their operations and development.”

However, Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chair Nik Antona said the news “doesn’t mean any ray of sunshine” for the hospitality sector, which is “still shrouded in dark clouds”.

“Even though pubs, social clubs and bars, and the brewers and cider makers who serve them, are not in recession, they face countless challenges.

“Rising commodity costs and energy bills, unfair business rates and customer habits hampered by the cost of living crisis threaten to destroy Britain’s great social centers.”

Constant growth

The chairman added that, whether the UK is in recession or not, without “significant support” from the government in the form of “fair taxation” the future of the industry looks “bleak”.

Last week, the Bank of England announced it would freeze interest rates at 5.25% for the sixth time in a row.

Moreover, while inflation has fallen by two percentage points according to the latest estimates, the benchmark rate still increased by 3.2% in the year to March 2024.

Moreover, according to official statistics, draft lager prices increased by 0.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year.

British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The stronger-than-expected quarterly growth figures are good news not only for the UK economy but especially for the beer and pub sector, which is relying on greater consumer confidence.

“We now need to see consistent and sustainable growth, and to that end, and through the next government, put in place a long-term fiscal and regulatory framework to ensure breweries and pubs not only survive but thrive.

“(Hospitality businesses) are at the heart of the UK community; “should be a driving force for local economic growth and constitute an important element of the revitalization of our country’s main streets.”