After a period of intensive trialling the Birmingham City University / CPE (Hong Kong) Enginuity 2024 Competition is
underway, with a competitive field of teams all battling for supremacy against their peers.
And so to the action, and all the teams made excellent starts, with the early pacesetters after
36% growth being "VFP Company" with 1,355 pts,
but they cannot rest on their laurels with the chasing pack not far behind led by the
"Excellent Construction Limited".
However, it is early days, and there are sure to be plenty of twists ahead as the journey
through the Early Years unfolds.
The early signs are that the competition will be very competitive, with all the teams improving
their overall position in period 5. However, this was not unexpected. After being formed at the
beginning of period 1, overhead costs were incurred whilst the companies were being established, without
any profits being generated. The companies were now in a position to generate profits against a more stable
overhead base, and this was reflected in improved operating profits. Of course, growth will be impossible
without an effective strategy, and all the management teams have had time to think about this carefully, and
come up with a set of objectives to deliver business success for their stakeholders.
2023 proved to be another turbulent year for the UK. Food and energy prices rose sharply,
caused largely by global supply chain disruptions and the effects of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine,
resulting in a Cost of Living crisis in the UK, and the Bank of England were forced to increase interest rates
many times to combat rising inflation, with resulting growth of only around 0.4% in the whole of 2023.
Hopes were growing towards the end of 2023 that 2024 could see some green shoots of recovery, with interest rates
reaching their potential peak. However, many observers are sceptical with the upcoming general election,
and a likely change of Government expected to prolong the uncertainty for businesses and delay investment,
and growth is expected to fall to 0.3% in 2024.
Further afield global real GDP grew by around 2.9 percent in 2023, but is expected to slow to 2.5 percent in 2024,
weighed down by high inflation and continued monetary policy tightening. Growth forecasts for 2024
are generally strongest in emerging Asian economies, and weakest in Europe and the US.
The outlook is not helped by the continued impact of the Russia invasion of Ukraine,
and the Israel invasion of Palestine in the Middle East, all potentially putting further global pressures
on energy prices across the world.
League table at the end of period 5