The PCG has published its latest monthly forecast and is confidently predicting prosperous times ahead for independent professionals.
The improved fortunes of Umbrella Company Employees and other flexible freelancers are being driven by strengthening macroeconomic indicators such as falling unemployment and inflation, according to PCG economic policy adviser George Nikolaidis. Business investment and wages are also increasing, he added, with the real prospect that the economy is now moving out of mere recovery and into full expansion mode.
Mr Nikolaidis continued: “Rising demand for contract staff and an upward pressure on rates should be good news for the UK’s 1.72 million freelancers. Freelancers are becoming increasingly important for the economic recovery as companies look for highly-skilled individuals that could have an immediate impact on their business. An optimistic macroeconomic outlook will no doubt enable freelancers to make their unique contribution to the UK economy.”
Mr Nikolaidis also pointed to some ominous dark clouds on the horizon, however, which could yet impede economic growth; specifically, he identified youth unemployment and trade as obstinately persistent drags on full-speed-ahead growth. There are not yet any meaningful government measures for youth unemployment, he noted, and it remains persistently high with little prospect of any improvement in the near-term.
Underwhelming trade is also acting as a drag on growth, Mr Nikolaidis warned, adding that George Osborne’s export target of £1 trillion by 2020 “appears overly ambitious”. Strong demand for imports will make a trade surplus unlikely, he added, but at least one intractable problem may be about to end: the UK’s stagnating productivity rate may well be ameliorated by the pick-up in business investment.