It would be fair to say that May was a month where interest rates, inflation and Bitcoin came up in conversation quite a lot! Chip shortages continued to hobble the automotive industry (which may clip the wings of a sales recovery) but consumers are spending with increasing gusto as coronavirus-led restrictions lift.

China’s manufacturing growth is slowing down – as is its population growth, which is why the law just changed to allow three children –but this could be too little too late to diffuse such a demographic time bomb. Europe is getting more confident about recovery as the ECB increased its full year GDP forecasts and pretty much any survey and data point you care to mention in the UK is showing positive momentum, so much so that the Bank of England raised its GDP forecasts to levels not seen since WW2! Recruitment is rising and business creation is at its highest level for a decade.

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Baker Tilly economic snapshot - May 2021 edition