The Centre of Economics and Business Research has investigated the correlation between economic growth and weather patterns overs the last years.
They have reported that since 2005, quarterly GDP growth has been 0.6 percentage points lower than typical levels when the weather has been very cold.
When minimum temperatures are one degree Celsius lower than average, quarterly GDP is on average £2.5 billion lower. This is a bigger negative effect than any other form of adverse weather, including snowfall, heat waves or flooding.
The GP falls are due to lower output as productivity is lost due to staff not been able to get to work and the transport links suffering adversely.
The Report states smaller businesses are at a disadvantage in terms of poor weather.
Scott Corfe, head of UK Macroeconomics stated:
‘Many small offices are unprepared for such events as they often lack remote access to their work due to security concerns and a lack of infrastructure. This is compounded in many cases by inadequate internet connections or computing power at staff homes. In addition SMEs (small and medium sized businesses) tend to suffer more than their larger counterparts who can spread the setup and maintenance costs of remote working infrastructure across many more staff.’
Kevin Scott-Cowell, CEO of 8×8 Solutions stated:
‘Bad weather hits businesses hard, and medium-sized companies are more vulnerable than their larger counterparts. Until now, the technical infrastructure to enable remote working and guard against disruption has been out of reach for many companies, but cloud solutions are changing this. It’s now affordable for any size business to put in place a plan and deploy the right remote working technology. This can make sure it’s business as usual for customers, whatever the weather.’