Business Confidence – More Good News, Please!

One of my colleagues mentioned to me that he was contemplating giving up listening to the news because all it contained was “doom and gloom”.  Now, I’m not advocating a shutdown of the news across the board here, but promoting more ‘good news’, especially with regard to businesses, would surely do us all a favour?!

In an attempt to redress the balance, below are a few items I have read recently that made me think – “That looks encouraging.”

“The UK’s trade deficit narrowed in August as the export of goods hit a record high.”

An economist at IHS Global Insight was even moved to comment the figures were “appreciably better than expected.”

Another item under the headline “UK Manufacturing Activity Picks Up.”

This report concerned the Markit Purchasing Managers Index rising from 49.4 in August to 51.1 in September when economists had expected the index to fall slightly.

And in a week that saw record profits being announced by both Harrods and Poundland, plus house builders Bellway posting a 50% rise in profits, there are clearly a lot of people still successfully navigating their way around these challenging economic times.

Locally, we have also recently had the positive news confirming the development of the new JLR engine plant at Wolverhampton – an investment of over £350m creating up to 750 jobs (plus many more in the local supply chain).  This long term commitment to the region is also demonstrated by a due diligence task we ourselves have just been involved with for clients, where a business in Aldridge employing over 60 people was saved from closure; with the new owners looking to invest and grow a business which otherwise would have gone to the wall.

Dealing in property as we do, my colleagues and I get involved at the stage where developers plan and acquire land, running right through to building then letting and/or selling the finished product.  Granted, there can be challenges and uncertain patches during this process, but we all have to face up to reality. It is somewhat frustrating, therefore, that the ‘mood music’ seems so consistently down beat of late, and I can’t help but think we need to look at the positives a little more.

Here at Harris Lamb we are looking at further investment in our business as we believe there are opportunities for us out there.  Many of our clients are also in a state of mind and, more importantly, have the ability to complete new business.

In the same way a coin has two faces; there can be two sides to every market. And if we all look for the success stories, perhaps it will allow us to spot the opportunities where we would usually see “doom and gloom”.


If you are thinking of relocating, selling or letting your commercial property, or if you just need some general advice, Peter would be eager to speak with you. Call him on 0121 4559455 or email peter.wood@harrislamb.com.          

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