A mix of factors are buffeting the UK economy right now. Spending power is being crushed by high inflation eroding family finances.

House prices are coming off their heady heights as sellers drop prices to source buyers amid higher mortgage rates.

External demand is thinning in response to weak consumer confidence amid a global cost of living crunch.

One area that’s yet to sag sharply is business investment, which may surprise many people – after all, it’s the area that lots of experts have tagged as a weak point of the British economy especially post-Brexit.

But it’s been on a recovery of late, up 0.7 per cent in the first three months of this year, meaning the difference between its present and pre-pandemic level is the slimmest since the virus first spread here.

That uptick is all the more unexpected given the dire predictions about where economic growth was headed this year. Remember the Bank of England thought this year we’d slump into the longest recession in a century last November.

Yet, the early 2023 investment jump is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s been driven by temporary factors that have endowed it with an artificial gloss.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s super deduction – which allowed businesses to take off 130 per cent of the value of certain investments from their corporation tax liabilities – finished in March.

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