Could positivity brought on by the recent sunshine help bring about an economic recovery?
Can it be argued that the ever-changing British weather and our seemingly constantly shifting economic forecast are linked? Does all this sunshine have anything to do with the positive messages coming from business commentators over the last few days?
This July the BBC reported that our national happiness was on the rise. “A UK-wide well-being survey has shown ‘small-improvements’ in peoples’ happiness over the last year. The proportion of people rating their life satisfaction as 7 or more out of 10 rose from 75.9% to 77.0%” (BBC 20/7/13). We are 1.1% happier, seems weird but is this down to the weather? Remember we had the Jubilee celebrations and Olympics last summer, neither of which seemed to cheer us up as much as a good few weeks of solid sunshine.
Perhaps more importantly for Yorkshire’s regional businesses, where let’s face it we aren’t struggling for happiness, is that the economy seems to be stabilising. “Britain’s economy [is] finally gaining traction, with GDP growth doubling to 0.6% in the second quarter of 2013” says the Guardian’s Business Page (Guardian 29/7/13). The article continues by describing how “UK retail sales rose to a six-month high in July as department stores enjoyed the strongest trading surge in 30 years”, which can’t be a bad thing. –
It could certainly be said that the sale of flip-flops and aftersun has had some part to play in these positive results, but could this be the start of something more tangible, could the sunshine have helped to kickstart the economy?
Even the banks seem to be getting in on the action. A survey conducted by the Business Bankers Association concluded that “lending to small and medium businesses is on the rise.” The facts are that there has been an £238m increase in lending to small and medium sized enterprises in June, a sharp turnaround on declines of £476m in May and £641m in April. (BBA 03/06/2013).
Who can say that this period of sustained good-news is as a result of the weather? It could equally be because a Brit finally won Wimbledon, or we have recently welcomed a new royal baby into the world. What can be said is that there certainly seems to be a growing sense of optimism amongst business commentators that there could be some sunlight at the end of the tunnel.
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