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Exciting times ahead as business gets ‘back to normal’

By Mark Craddock. Published on 12 February 2015

Mark Craddock, who specialises in senior finance and CFO appointments at Eton Bridge Partners, welcomes a positive outlook for the UK economy. 

Click here to view the full article featured on the CIMA website.

The UK is enjoying its lowest level of unemployment for more than six years. Wage growth is outpacing inflation. and the country’s growth forecast is described as ‘favourable’ by the IMF’s chief economist.

All in all, it is a pretty good start to 2015. This feeling is reflected in the recruitment marketplace, where at last there is a feeling of looking forwards, not backwards.

Of course there are pockets of inactivity, such as the oil and gas sector, struggling under the weight of lower oil prices. The result is an inevitable slowdown – and in some cases a complete halt – on hiring new recruits.

At a broader level however, there is a feeling of positivity across a wide range of industries and a ‘back to normal’ approach is prevailing.

Choices to make 

As May’s UK general election approaches, it will be interesting to see how this will impact on the business world. The likelihood of a referendum on the UK leaving the EU will undoubtedly create some economic uncertainty.

On a positive note, Prime Minister David Cameron has already pledged to try to deliver ‘full employment’ in Britain. He announced a raft of ideas, including more start-up loans for young entrepreneurs and investment in infrastructure to attract businesses.

That is potentially good news for all CIMA members, whether at the beginning of their careers, or further up the management ranks.

Global outlook 

Although the drop in oil prices is a plus for many countries, it is less so for oil exporters such as Russia and Nigeria, which have both seen an economic downgrade. In China the slowdown in growth is forecast to continue.

Closer to home, the relative stability and maturity of the UK economy and its US counterpart means these markets are continuing to outperform many in the emerging markets.

Forecasters predict US growth of 3.6% this year and 3.3% in 2016. The UK’s growth forecast is 2.7% for this year and reduced slightly to 2.4% for 2016 as a result of weakness within the Eurozone.

Both these statistics are good news. I believe the opportunity for businesses to press ahead with new opportunities, acquisitions and investments will make these economies an exciting place to be in the next few months.

At Eton Bridge Partners we’ve the mirrored those successes, reporting record growth over the last few months and into the start of 2015. Long may that continue.

Mark Craddock


Mark leads the executive search CFO & Finance Practice at Eton Bridge Partners. His personal area of focus is handling retained mandates to recruit permanent CFOs and their direct reports across the UK, Europe, and increasingly globally.