Caerphilly Business Forum blog: The economic recovery is a delicate thing
It’s a delicate thing this economic recovery, if the economic analysts are to be believed; one step forward, one step back as business confidence takes a boost from one report followed by a knock from another.
This week we heard public sector borrowing was back on track after a blip in April. Then the CBI’s survey of UK manufacturers revealed most expected rising costs in June. This pessimistic note was tempered by a small majority of manufacturers declaring their order books were better than normal.
And there was more encouraging news last week – the number of jobless people fell sharply in May. But to balance that, retail sales fell last month – despite numerous reports of how sales of luxury goods were booming.
And from these conflicting, confusing economic indicators, analysts are supposed to find meaningful trends.
Well at a glance there are currently no trends – at least none that we can interpret to mean anything. And why should there be if the economy’s going nowhere fast? But the analysts have to report something, even though their role right now is akin to commentators at Wimbledon making small talk while it rains.
The problem with this is that there’s a tendency to create a drama when none exists. Their reports create a prevailing air of anxiety which business could do without as it tries to regain confidence.
But in my experience, small businesses ignore this quite well. Perhaps it’s because they haven’t time to dwell on economic forecasts.
Caerphilly Business Forum got sponsors for each of its awards within a week of announcing them. Would this have happened if they’d dwelt on every twist and turns in the economy?
It seems to me, most just roll up their sleeves and get on with it. And it works quite well.
Chairman, Caerphilly Business Forum
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