Cheeseburgers and cricket hold key to the economy


Feeling confident? I’m not talking about the cricket (although I will later) but the economy.

There is sooooo much data coming out at the moment, which you can take any way you want. Enough to keep the optimists happy and pessimists miserable. But then again, some people are only happy being miserable, while being happy all the time can be enough to make you miserable.

Anyway. We’re still in recession, although due to leave anytime soon if you listen to the optimists. The optimists in France and Germany are all in smug ‘told-you-so’ mode, which is enough to make the rest of us positively miserable.

And this morning came the news that Hong Kong, too, has had its name called to board the express service out of Recession City.

We still seem to be on the slow train to somewhere (unknown), but slowly, slowly, catchee monkey and all that. For despite all the bad news this week over the job figures, there are positives to be found in other quarters.

The housing market still seems to moving the right direction with the number of approved mortgages in June rising by 23%. Repossessions also eased over the spring.

Pessimists will take grim satisfaction from the week’s news on after reading an insolvency expert’s fears for the retail sector, and the rise in company insolvencies. But this has been met with a cheery riposte from those who perused the latest Market South West PMI survey, and as well, to an extent, the latest edition of the RDA’s Economic Review.

Confidence, of course, is key to the recovery, as is a feel-good factor. You feel happy, you spend money. Or so the theory goes. Although to counter that, I read this week from a report in Germany, that the recession is fuelling obesity. The equation going that misery/no money = comfort food and lots of it.

I would have thought that spending all your money on junk food and chocolate would have made things worse. But hey, Germany’s out of recession. Maybe they’ve eaten themselves out of recession. Perhaps we should all give it a go. XL Bacon Double Cheeseburgers all round.

Anyway, I digress. Cricket. I’m a firm believer that national sporting achievement can make everyone optimistic and happy. Especially when it involves beating the Aussies. But when things go pear shaped…

So who’s feeling confident about the fifth and final test this week? The optimists and the pessimists.

Forget the Bank of England, Gordon Brown, Mr Darling etc etc. Straussy & Co, your country needs you NOW!