Friday, 30 December 2011

Recession: Did it Ever Go Away?

The BBC trumpets that recession is to return to Europe, but in all honesty with a growth figure in tiny fractions of one percent did we ever leave recession? After all the positive growth figures bandied about over the past two years are so low that negative growth (i.e. recession) is not that far away.

Of course its politically expedient to err on the high side and tip the figures just ever so slightly positive, which for the statisticians technically keeps us out of recession.

But has any of us felt or will feel in future the benefit of growth measured in fractions of a percent? Not really.

For the pedants out there I know that growth went slightly over 1% in Q2 of 2010, but that was the only time since Q1 2008 it climbed that high. In fact in Q4 of the same year growth went negative, but luckily it bounced back to a wondrous 0.4 percent the next quarter, thus avoiding the technical definition of a recession.

And boy aren't those of us in retail feeling every rise and dip... In fact the ONS growth figures match virtually quarter for quarter the retail trading conditions we've seen over the past couple of years.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

UK in Global Chart Slump

The UK economy has now dropped to 7th in the world after being overtaken by Brazil.

Another of the things I've been banging on about is the UK actually taking notice of their place in the world and cutting their cloth accordingly. Our economy is on the way down and we need to plan our finances on that future prospect and plan forward, not hanging on to the glory of the past.

In the end, if we continue expenditure at the same rate as before, all we end up with is a lot of debt and a shrinking economy unable to pay it off. A bit like the scenario we're already in, in fact.

Time to face reality and time once and for all for the UK to reinvent itself.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Age of the Gang?

As 2011 gasps its last breath, perchance are we witnessing the agenda being set for 2012?

The past couple of days have been particularly bad for stabbings and shootings. Now there's no evidence as yet that these are gang related crimes, but they are most certainly youth oriented.

What is most obvious point here, but one that will be missed by a country mile by the mass media, is that the prohibition on the possession of knives by youths and guns by everybody is most definitely not working.

Despite the severe restrictions on gun and knife ownership, both types of crime continue to grow and are now moving from the underclass ghettos, onto the previously unsullied corporate-dominated high streets.

Its obvious that the current policy isn't working, but I wouldn't bet that those in charge of such policy making will understand the fact. Expect ever more draconian, unworkable and unenforceable laws this year once the "enquiries" and committees have used up countless resources coming to the wrong conclusion.