Is it co-incidence or a little bit more that no sooner have England finally put Australia to the sword, or rather the bat, that there are reports in the press that the recession may finally be over?
Good sporting events often have a tendency to induce either mild hysteria or a return of “the feel good factor”, and a few great days cricket, some gold medals in the Athletics, and a bit of sunshine may have helped to do the trick again.
The better news, however, is that much of this good feeling has been rumbling in the background for a while now and tentatively growing in strength. This time it is the turn of the accountants, pessimistic lot accountants in general, (sorry accountants that is a rash generalisation I know!), more precisely The Institute of Chartered Accountants, who have said that their index of business confidence rose to 4.8% in June from -28.2%.
This is the biggest rise in 2 years with IT, banking and finance the most optimistic sectors.
It does all seem to mirror our own experience in conversations we are having with clients. Very few are now saying that they are worried about their jobs, as many believe if they have not already lost it they should be fine now. Many more have suggested that things “seem to be improving” and whilst still cautious, it is a far cry from the doom and gloom of only a few months ago.
More importantly, the media are showing, generally, a level of maturity and understanding of what is going on, reporting the good news in a balanced let’s still be careful kind of way, rather than the we are all doomed headlines of a year ago.
The quote accompanying the above report from Michael Izza of the ICA stated, “While there is no doubt that the UK economy is on its way to recovery, we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges ahead for businesses.”
That for me neatly sums up where we are now. It is time to move forward with optimism, but with caution and with an adaptable plan.
And if England win the World Cup next summer, hold on to your hats…