Sarah Boumphrey, Head of Strategic, Economic and Consumer Insight at Euromonitor International
“Notwithstanding David Cameron’s return to Downing Street, the impact of the UK economy’s return to growth remains to be felt by large swathes of consumers. Much of the growth has been driven by an increase in population, and as a result the figures look less positive when looked at in per capita terms. In particular, low productivity growth has meant that the reduction in unemployment has failed to lead to increases in per capita disposable income.
“At this early stage much remains to be seen and it’s important to remember that significant risks will be out of the hands of the government – the oil price has had a huge impact on the performance of the global economy, and the China slowdown also has flow-on effects globally. Finally, the Bank of England’s decisions on interest rates will also impact the growth outlook and the possibility of a Grexit could throw the eurozone into chaos.”
Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group
“The low carbon sector has continued to thrive in the last five years and we look forward to working with the Conservative government to build upon it. We welcome in particular the Conservative Party’s commitments in its manifesto to improve the state of the UK’s natural environment, support the UK’s Climate Change Act and to continue reducing the UK’s emissions cost-effectively. Achieving these objectives will require ambitious and stable policies and a pragmatic approach to the role that energy efficient and low carbon technologies, including onshore wind, can play in the future.”
Pete Cheema, Chief Executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation
”This is a remarkable result . Until now it was impossible to think that the Labour Party in Scotland would be reduced to having the same number of seats as the Tories! If we see this support for the SNP continuing it could pave the way for another referendum after the Scottish election in 2020.
”SGF’s ability to engage with and influence both Scottish MPs and members of the Scottish Parliament means that it is now more import than ever for suppliers, symbol groups and retailers to engage with and support the Federation.”
“Whilst the mood in UK markets is one of relief, note that any Conservative government that runs on a thin majority, or with the support of a small coalition/alliance ally, could, as the term runs on, see that margin removed. Readers recalling the April 1992 election will remember that John Major’s majority of 21 was eroded over time. That would still leave the spectre of an earlier than scheduled election on the table and would make the passing of major legislative changes challenging.”
Ian Wright, Director General at the Food and Drink Federation
“With thriving exports, huge creativity and diversity amongst our members, FDF will bang the drum louder than ever before to ensure that the sector’s contribution to the country is recognised and resourced sufficiently.
“Accounting for 15.7% of the total manufacturing sector by turnover and employing around 400,000 people across the UK, the food and drink industry is a national asset.
“As the voice of the largest manufacturing sector – food and drink, FDF has a long history of constructive partnership with UK governments. Given its economic contribution, which includes £21.5bn of gross value added to the national economy each year, we will continue to work to unlock shared value for the sector, society and the economy.”
British Retail Consortium
“With the long-awaited General Election result known now is the time for the next Government to maintain the momentum of the business rates review. We were greatly encouraged last year when the last Government – supported by the other main parties – announced the structural review of this outdated system.
”As the evidence review proceeds, ministers can stand by the aspiration that the system is no longer fit for purpose by setting out a vision of the future of business taxation, one that incorporates the role of rates within the framework. That would demonstrate the Government’s determination to play its role in the necessary long-term planning to revitalise our town centres and bring new ways to shop to the high street.
“Wider policy-making that’s based on clarity, certainty and transparency is welcome too and would have the benefit of helping to deliver the right climate for retail to prosper in the next five years”.