Coronavirus: Business investment in haulage sector falls

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Business investment in the haulage industry fell by 17.8% in the Q2, according to tax experts at Catax.

Total business investment in the transportation and storage sector fell to £2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2020, down from £3.1bn in Q2 2019, the latest ONS figures show.

This was much less pronounced than the dramatic slowdown seen in the wider economy, says Catax. Overall business investment across UK industry fell 26.1% in Q2 compared with the second quarter of 2019. 

UK GDP shrank 20.4% in Q2, with widespread declines across all main sectors of the economy. 

The picture has, however, improved more recently with the ONS reporting that GDP grew 8% in the three months to the end of August4 as lockdown measures eased, raising hopes of a steep recovery in investment.

Mark Tighe, CEO of tax relief consultancy Catax, said: “This year has caught everyone off guard. The second quarter was when the pandemic really saw economies slamming on the brakes, with the national lockdown in the UK being announced on March 23, just before it began.

“However, the haulage sector has actually fared much better than other industries. Both the utilities and hospitality sectors saw business investment drop by more than half as coronavirus disruption got the country in its teeth.

“It will take some time for business investment to climb back to where it was at the start of the year, when the only threat on the horizon appeared to be Brexit negotiations. The speed of that recovery will depend very much on how long the second wave lasts and how much disruption is to come.” 

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