CBI optimistic over 1993 recovery

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The Independent Online
HOPES were bolstered yesterday that the economy could recover from recession in 1993 as employer bodies issued upbeat messages and two large retailers reported jangling tills.

The Confederation of British Industry said the economy was well placed for recovery provided a tight rein was kept on wages.

Sir Michael Angus, the president of the CBI, says in a new year message that prospects for recovery are good, provided businesses do not allow improved competitiveness to be eroded by higher inflation and spiralling wage claims.

The British Chambers of Commerce also strikes a note of optimism today, saying a framework for recovery is at last falling into place.

J Sainsbury, Britain's largest supermarket group, while announcing a discount promotion, said it had beaten sales targets with a 'most encouraging' performance since September.

Sears, which owns Selfridges department store and a string of 1,500 shoe shops, reported that winter sales had got off to a good start. Geoffrey Maitland Smith, chairman, said: 'The sales have started very well and this gives encouraging signs to retailers that the year's targets will be met.'

However, contrasting figures published today by Dun & Bradstreet, the business information group, show business failures worsened in 1992 with more than 170 companies, partnerships and one- man businesses going bust every day.

The total for the year, 62,767, represents a 31 per cent increase on 1991. However, the rate of increase was less than half the 65 per cent jump that was recorded in 1991.

Sir Michael says the more competitive exchange rate is starting to feed through into improved exports, with order books at best levels since June.

There are also clear signs of recovery in the United States while the single market is expected to stimulate activity within the European Community.