British firms are still refusing to invest: currently – and not counting the banks and other financial institutions – they have a £754 billion cash stockpile, forecasting group Item Club revealed in the middle of April. Item Club said the stockpile was “acting as a massive drag on the economy”.
Meanwhile, construction output in February was 17 per cent down on November 2011 and 4.6 per cent down on the previous February. Britain’s deficit on trade in goods and services rose to £3.4 billion in February 2012, from £2.5 billion in January. The deficit on trade in goods alone rose to £8.8 billion in February, up from £7.9 billion in January. ■