Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The recession ... getting better or worse?

Maybe it’s just me but it feels like the recession is getting worse rather than better.

For the first time since I became self employed five years ago my work commitments beyond three months ahead are looking gloomier than usual. I am not at the panic stage but I am working hard to seek out new opportunities against a background of reducing budgets everywhere.

I am sure the UK economy will recover but I suspect there will be neither a magic bullet solution nor an overnight improvement. It is a case of being patient, determined, focused and grateful for work that comes along. I have been fortunate enough to have been very busy since I left my comfort blanket of the NHS in 2004.

It has been a fantastic journey and I would not have changed a single thing about it including all the uncertainly. There has never been a time in those five years when I have been without work and whilst the future looks a bit uncertain at present I remain optimistic.


Mark JF said...

I am quite fearful about the next year for the UK.

My impression is that the current, very slow recovery* is based on consumer spending in a rather fatalistic, "Spend now to enjoy Xmas and worry about the future later" way.

Next year, of course: VAT will increase; utilities and local authorities will impose increases on taxpayers; business cost pressures will keep pay rises to a minimum; government revenues will decrease (individual and corporation taxes) while they face massive spending pressures; Big Co final salary schemes at BA and Royal Mail cannot sustain themselves and that will lead to industrial unrest; and at the same time people like BA cabin staff think it's a good time to go on strike.

Throw a general election into the mix and I think we have a very risky situation.

* And let's not forget: as confirmed in the news today, we're still in recession, for a record 6th successive quarter, so "recovery" = not going backwards as fast.

Trevor Gay said...

I fear you may be right Mark.

Where do you think we can look for some optimism?

Or do we just have to simply get our heads down, reduce our spending and just work our way out of it?

I certainly have no faith in any one political party now – yes I’ve changed my view having been a lifelong Labour Party supporter.

Maybe it is time for some form of coalition government.

Tom said...

Over here is the US things are still pretty gloomy. There are some signs of recovery. But the majority of real estate actions are still foreclosures. There is still very little hiring. Large companies will not be adding much to their roles in 2010. So, unless there is a HUGE increase in consumer spending [not likely], the "recovery" will be weak and slow.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong. But with most new jobs going to people outside the US [and the UK], it seems that our hope is left up to small business and entrepreneurs. So let's all hope that we can gain some traction in 2010!

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Tom – good to hear from you and Happy New Year to you and your family. It sounds very similar on your side of the pond. I think your excellent ‘weak and slow’ definition is how it feels over here too. More credit is probably the way spending will increase and the rules will be tougher given the banking scandals we have experienced. It’s a real catch 22 situation. We need to spend to inflate the economy but to spend we need to borrow. As a sole trader which falls into the small business category the worry is ensuring the work comes in as budgets are cut. As a natural optimist I am trying hard to remain positive for 2010 …. Economic theory is underpinned by psychology in my view.