UK economy contracted in November, however there are some positives.

14th January 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

UK economy contracted in November

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK economy shrank 0.3% in November on the previous month, under-performing the flat line of 0% GDP growth that had been forecast by economists.

While in the three months to November, UK GDP grew by just 0.9% on the same period the year before – its weakest pace of annual growth since the spring of 2012.

The drop afflicted not only the country’s long-struggling manufacturing industries, but also its services sector.  The ONS figures show that November’s manufacturing output was down 1.7% while services were also down 0.3%. However, construction grew by 1.9% compared with October.

The UK’s trade balance hit a record high surplus of £4bn in November and the three months to November saw the surplus stand at £1.1bn – the second consecutive quarter in the black.

The pound fell below $1.30 for the first time in 2020 as currency traders feared the Bank of England would cut interest rates to head off a slowdown.

The next two weeks will see the release of key survey data which will be crucial to Bank of England policymakers as they consider whether to cut rates. Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said the survey findings would be “highly influential”.

UK productivity rises slightly after year of contraction

Official figures released  by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show however that output per hour worked – the standard measure of productivity – grew, all be it only marginally in the third quarter of 2019 following four successive quarters of contraction.

In the services sector, which accounts for 80% of the economy, output per hour rose by 0.1%.

Productivity in the construction sector was up by 5.7% while manufacturing productivity fell by 1.9%.

“Although productivity grew on the year, the underlying picture is of sustained weakness since 2008, with growth over the past year being only a third of the average over the past 10 years or so,” said Katherine Kent, head of productivity at ONS.

Alex Tuckett, senior economist at PwC, said: “Without sustained productivity growth, recent improvements in real wage growth are unlikely to be sustainable. This will require increased investment by both business and government, notably in transport infrastructure, upskilling staff and innovation.”

New company formations hit record levels in 2019

However things appear to be looking up in the corporate world following the election which brought to an end the feeling on uncertainty .

The Centre for Entrepreneurs will this week release data gleaned from Companies House showing a record 681,704 new businesses started in 2019, up 2.8% on the previous year.

London was the No 1 place for starting a business, while Leicester, Glasgow and Bristol all saw sharp increases in the number of companies formed.

The number of new tech start-ups was 43,765 while 14,259 takeaway food shops and mobile food stands were established.

Business confidence hits record high

Business sentiment among finance chiefs has risen sharply following the Conservatives’ election victory, according to the latest Deloitte CFO survey.

Over half (53%) of respondents were more optimistic than three months earlier, up from 9% in the previous quarter. The figures represent the biggest jump in confidence since Deloitte started the survey 11 years ago.

Some 38% said they expected UK businesses to increase capital expenditure over the next year, up from just 6% during the previous period, and 27% said they expect hiring to rise next year, up from 3% during the last quarter.

A separate study by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG echoed the sentiment, with permanent appointments rising for the first time in a year, while temporary billings rose faster.

Optimism increases among British financial firms

A survey carried out by PwC and the CBI reveals optimism among the UK’s financial services companies has risen for the first time in almost three years.

Sentiment in the sector improved at the end of last year, for the first time since March 2017, while a positive balance of 8% of firms said they were more optimistic than three months ago.

A balance of 14% of businesses expect volumes to grow in the opening three months of 2020, the strongest result since 2018. However, a balance of 19% warned of falling volumes in the final quarter of 2019, the worst since 2012.

Separately, BDO’s Optimism Index showed no significant change in business confidence. Partner Peter Hemington said: “We’ve seen in the past that post-election changes in optimism take a while to feed through, even where the result is decisive as this.” Finally, a survey from trade finance provider Stenn found just under half of UK firms think the country will go into recession this year.

Business lobby stunned after meetings scrapped

Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary, is to stop her weekly meetings with the UK’s five largest business groups; the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, Make UK and the Federation of Small Businesses, and instead hold monthly meetings with a wider audience of business representatives, including the Creative Industries Federation, Tech UK and the British Retail Consortium.

A government source said the move “levels the playing field” and has nothing to do with the stance of any of the groups on Brexit.

The Times reported that Mrs Leadsom and Kelly Tolhurst, the business minister, were said to have been “really pissed off” about what they perceived to be a lack of support for Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals. Craig Beaumont, of the FSB, said: “This is a new government and we will give new ideas a try. The proof will be how pro-business the government is in its policy.”

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and  has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has  helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

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The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections